Royal Avebe extends cooperation for bio natural gas production in Germany

CorporateNewsSustainabilityThursday, 29 Feb 2024

Avebe and biogeen: Industry partnership for fossil-free bio natural gas

Royal Avebe will continue to purchase two million kilowatt hours of fossil-free biomethane at its German plant in Lüchow in 2024. In return, the cooperative will supply potato pulp for the production of biomethane to a biogas plant in Lüchow. Avebe signed a corresponding agreement with the local bio natural gas producer biogeen. Last year saw the first co-operation between the two industrial companies.

The partnership enables Avebe to purchase fossil-free biogas via certificates in return for the pulp obtained from starch potatoes grown by Avebe farmers. “By sourcing energy from fossil-free biogas, we are significantly reducing our carbon footprint. This is part of Avebe’s sustainability strategy,” says Peter Minow, Avebe Managing Director in Germany. The company considers it part of its social responsibility to provide the equivalent amount of biomass required for the production of fossil-free biogas.

 Farmers must have a SURE certificate
 “Avebe is only allowed to pass on the pulp from potatoes supplied by SURE-certified farms to our cooperation partner for the production of biogas,” says Torsten Belling, who is responsible for quality, environment, safety and health (QESH) at Avebe in Germany. “We are delighted that we are now supplied by 35 suppliers around Lüchow who have the required certification.” Among other things, SURE certification requires farmers to fulfil strict sustainability criteria for the land used to produce biomass for biogas, such as potatoes or cereals. For example, the land must not have been created by deforestation or the draining of moorland.

Potato pulp is a by-product of the production of starch flour from potatoes. It is very rich in energy, but low in protein, vitamins and minerals and is primarily used as animal feed for dairy cows and beef cattle.