VNG subsidiary BALANCE acquires 40th biogas facility
On 1 January 2023, BALANCE Erneuerbare Energien GmbH (BALANCE), a wholly owned subsidiary of VNG, took over a biogas facility in Oberlommatzsch, Saxony, Germany. The acquisition brings the number of facilities in the BALANCE portfolio to 40 in northern and eastern Germany, ten of which are located in Saxony. As per the agreement, the purchase price has not been revealed.
With an installed capacity of 500 kWel, the facility generates around four GWh of renewable energy from biogas each year – supplying an average of around 1,200 households with power per year. The biogas facility in Oberlommatzsch is very close to the existing BALANCE facility in Bahra, which is also in the district of Meißen. “The acquisition consolidates our facility portfolio in central Saxony and, being located just one and a half kilometres from the existing facility in Bahra, provides important synergies with respect to operation and substrate supply. We look forward to consistently developing and optimising this facility in accordance with market demands,” says BALANCE Managing Director Thomas Fritsch.
The substrate used consists of renewable raw materials such as maize silage, which comes from farms in the region. The long-standing supply and service partnerships with farmers and logistics companies will be maintained. “It is very important to us to take local factors into account. The production of biogas increases regional added value, represents a sustainable alternative source of income for farmers and creates jobs in rural areas,” Fritsch adds.
With the acquisition of the Oberlommatzsch biogas facility, BALANCE is continuing its ambitious strategy for growth. As part of its green gas strategy, VNG is also strengthening its biogas business. “Not least in the current energy crisis, biogas as a renewable energy source helps to ensure reliability of supply. Biogas can be used flexibly, is available and storable locally, and can be used for base load. Particularly in winter months with little sun and wind, climate-friendly biogas offers and important alternative for generating electricity reliably and safely and therefore ensuring the regional energy supply,” explains Hans-Joachim Polk, member of the VNG AG Executive Board responsible for Infrastructure and Technology.
With the full acquisition of the facility, which went into operation in 2007, BALANCE has added around 1.3 megawatts of rated thermal output (MWRTO) to its facilities portfolio. BALANCE now has 40 facilities in northern and eastern Germany and total installed capacity of around 166 MWRTO. This enables BALANCE to supply around 51,000 households with renewable electricity and more than 53,000 households with green gas every year.
BALANCE was founded in 2006 and is currently one of the leading biogas plant operators in Germany with 39 plants in northern and eastern Germany. The company, which currently has around 160 employees, supplies people throughout Germany with regionally produced, safe and CO2-neutral energy in the form of biogas, heat and electricity. In addition, BALANCE develops innovative products along its value chain and is committed to giving biogas more prominence in a sustainable energy economy.
With an ambitious growth strategy, BALANCE has quintupled its plant portfolio since 2018 and today generates renewable energy with a firing thermal capacity of over 166 MWFWL. This means that BALANCE mathematically supplies around 51,000 households with renewable electricity and up to 53,000 households with green gas every year. As a wholly owned subsidiary of VNG AG, BALANCE combines the activities of the parent company in the field of renewable energy production. More at www.balance-vng.de.
VNG is a group of over 20 companies with more than 1,500 employees. Headquartered in Leipzig, the Group serves to ensure the secure supply of gas in Germany as the country’s third-largest gas importer and storage operator and also, via ONTRAS Gastransport GmbH, the operator of a 7,700 km network of long-distance gas pipelines. VNG supplies gas to approximately 400 municipal utilities, meeting some 20% of German gas requirements.In addition, with its VNG 2030+ strategy, VNG is pursuing an ambitious path for its commitment to renewable and decarbonised gases. VNG is already one of the leading biogas producers in Germany and is actively involved in numerous projects to build a carbon-neutral hydrogen industry. Based on its core competencies in gas and critical infrastructure, VNG works along the entire gas value chain to create a sustainable, secure and ultimately climate-neutral energy system. More about VNG at www.vng.de.
The newly acquired biogas plant in Oberlommatzsch is now BALANCE's 40th facility. © BALANCE