French oil and gas giant Total has announced the acquisition of Fonroche Biogaz, a renewable gas producer, for an undisclosed amount.

Fonroche Biogaz designs, builds and operates anaerobic digestion units in France.

With a portfolio of seven units in operation and four more in the pipeline, Fonroche’s installed capacity is nearly 500GWh, which doubled between 2019 and 2020. It enjoys a market share of 10% in renewable gas in the country.

With a workforce of 85 employees, Fonroche is claimed to have developed industrial and technological expertise across the entire renewable gas value chain.

By acquiring Fonroche, Total is expected to significantly develop its renewable gas market and also has prospects for rapid growth across the French market and in international expansion.

Total gas, renewables & power president Philippe Sauquet said: “This acquisition is consistent with our strategy and our climate ambition to get to Net Zero by 2050. We believe that renewable gas has a key role to play in the energy transition as it contributes to reducing the carbon intensity of natural gas – and we support the imposition of renewable gas incorporation in natural gas networks.

“In 2020, we stated our intention to contribute to the development of this sector, which we expect to become more competitive in the next few years. We intend to produce 1.5 terawatt-hours (TWh) of biomethane a year by 2025 and Fonroche Biogas is therefore the cornerstone of our development in this market.”

Fonroche Biogaz acquisition to enable Total to expand presence in the sector

The acquisition is expected to enable Total become a major player in French and European renewable gas markets.

In addition, the Fonroche Biogaz acquisition is said to allow the company to significantly expand its presence in the sector, where it already has a presence through its subsidiaries including Méthanergy, PitPoint and Clean Energy in Benelux and the US respectively.

Last month, the company signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Clean Energy to form a $100m 50/50 joint venture to develop renewable gas production projects in the US.

By 2030, Total plans to produce 4 to 6TWh of biomethane annually.

Last November, Total  said that it will use Honeywell UOP Ecofinin process technology to produce renewable fuels, primarily for the aviation industry, at its Grandpuits platform at Seine-et-Marne in north central France.