(Bloomberg) -- French utility Engie SA may spend about €2 billion ($2.1 billion) by the end of the decade to buy and upgrade biomethane assets in Europe as customers switch away from fossil fuels.

European Union nations are increasingly supporting the use of renewable gases such as biomethane, which is made by recycling agricultural and other organic waste, to replace natural gas and fight global warming. The need became more pressing after Russia squeezed gas supplies following its invasion of Ukraine, plunging the continent into its worst energy crisis in decades.

Engie said this year it plans to invest €3 billion to boost its biomethane production by more than 10-fold by 2030 in Europe. One-third of that may be spent on developing its own projects, while about two-thirds could be used for acquisitions of companies or plants, as well as their modernization and expansion, Camille Bonenfant-Jeanneney, head of renewable gases in Europe, said in a presentation near Paris Thusrday.  

“We have projects under development or of acquisitions in the Netherlands and Germany, and greenfield projects in Italy, Poland and Belgium,” while Engie also plans to expand in France, the UK and Spain, Bonenfant-Jeanneney said. “We need to mix the types of growth, because developing greenfield projects have quite long lead times.”   

The leading French gas supplier, which is targeting a biomethane production of 10 terawatt-hours in Europe by 2030, had an installed capacity of 670 gigawatt-hours in France at the end of June. On Thursday, it announced the £64.8 million ($80 million) acquisition of Ixora Energy Ltd., a UK company with three production units that generate 160 GWh of biomethane annually.

Read more:

  • Europe Plans Push to Cut Dependence on Russian Natural Gas
  • Biomethane Can Help EU End Its Reliance on Russian Gas

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.