Energy transition: in Marseille, SUEZ launches a biomethane injection plant, produced from wastewater treatment process
On Thursday 8 March SUEZ, through its subsidiary SERAMM in Marseille (France), officially begins the construction of a biomethane production and injection plant, produced from wastewater treatment process. Aix-Marseille-Provence metropolitan area, SUEZ, the French Water Agency, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) and Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region invest €9.2 millions in the conversion of part of Marseille’s Géolide wastewater treatment plant, with the aim of producing enough biomethane to supply 2,500 households from 1 January 2019.
As the company manages the wastewater treatment system for Marseille urban area and four other municipalities1 in the Aix-Marseille-Provencemetropolitan area, SUEZ provides local solutions to improve its customers’ economic and environmental performance. Thus, in Marseille, SUEZ invest the conversion of its sewage sludge treatment plant, located in Sormiou quarry since 1987, to launch the biggest biomethane production project ever seen in France.
Biogas, green energy for a sustainable city
From 1 January 2019, the biogas produced in the sludge digestion process will be collected, converted into biomethane and injected into the public natural gas network at a rate of 2.3 million Nm3 a year2. The facility has been designed with a future extension in mind, allowing for a rate of 3.8 million Nm3/year, which will make it the largest in France.
Aix-Marseille-Provence metropolitan area will be able to produce enough green energy to supply about 2,500 households. This biomethane – in compressed form – could also, in the longer term, be used as a biofuel for public transport running on natural gas (NGV).
The new biomethane production plant will offer several environmental benefits. Indeed, the proportion of recoverable biogas will increase by 35% while CO2 emissions should drop by 30%.
In partnership with its local authority and industrial customers, SUEZ is planning to increase its production of biomethane in France by 30 to 50% by 2020. This new plant shows that Aix-Marseille-Provence metropolitan area is working towards the same goal as our Group – taking immediate, concrete action to promote the circular economy.
Chief Executive Officer of SUEZ
Jean-Claude Gaudin, President of Aix-Marseille-Provence metropolitan area and Mayor of Marseille, said : “This facility will enable our metropolitan area to produce a more environmentally friendly green energy. Aix-Marseille-Provence takes action in a wide range of areas including transport, economic development, the energy transition and a better quality of life for our residents.”
Sewage sludge treatment plant in Marseille
1Allauch, Septèmes-les-Vallons, Carnoux en Provence and Gémenos industrial estate.
2The normal cubic metre is a unit of measurement for a quantity of gas equivalent to the volume of a cubic metre, for a gas in standard conditions for temperature and pressure.