ENGIE to supply Heathrow Airport with ‘green gas’

Article by Amanda Jasi

ENERGY and services company ENGIE is to supply ‘green gas’ to Heathrow Airport, the major international airport in London, UK. 100% green biomethane, produced by anaerobic digestion, is to replace natural gas at all meter points across the airport’s terminals until March 2022.

Green gas from ENGIE is sourced from plants which produce biogas from anaerobic digestion or landfill waste gas. The gas produces 46% less CO2 than standard natural gas. The biomethane is certified under the Renewable Gas Guarantees of Origin (RGGO) Scheme, as being wholly derived from anaerobic digestion. RGGO identifies exactly where, when, and how green gas is produced.

Under the agreement, biomethane will be injected into the grid by a number of producers using a variety of feedstocks. The biomethane will deliver several benefits to Heathrow and the wider environment, including reduced carbon emissions compared to natural gas, support for local biomethane production sites, and support for wildlife at these sites.

As the gas is produced in the UK, it supports the country’s energy resilience with accredited and traceable guarantees of origin, and reduces Heathrow’s reliance on traditional market routes for energy sourcing.

The contracted amount of green gas is not disclosed, but according to ENGIE, it is the largest forward green gas agreement that the company has signed so far. Additionally, Heathrow has the option to purchase more gas if it needs more over the contracted period.

Matt Gorman, Director of Sustainability at Heathrow, said: “The UK aviation industry has made a firm commitment to get to net zero by 2050, at the very latest. On our journey to rapidly decarbonise every aspect of the industry, we are proud to be partnering with ENGIE to significantly remove carbon from our gas supply, a move that has also helped us to gain carbon neutral status. We urge other companies to join us in making the switch.”

The recent agreement builds on an existing partnership through which ENGIE has been supplying biomethane to Heathrow’s Energy Centre, and other areas. The T2 Energy Centre is a biogas-fuelled combined heating and power station, at Heathrow Airport.

The aviation industry is difficult to decarbonise and is directly responsible for about 2% of global CO2 emissions. Other efforts exist to reduce emissions through alternative fuels. Last year, sustainable fuel supplier SkyNRG announced it was to develop Europe’s first dedicated waste-to-fuel plant in Delfzijl, the Netherlands. The sustainable fuel would reduce CO2 emissions by 85% compared to fossil fuels. Additionally, Velocys’s renewable fuel produces 70% less CO2 than conventional fuel.

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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