Meridiam, SUEZ, Waga Energy and GRDF launch an RNG production facility in France’s Dordogne region
On Tuesday, June 27, SUEZ, Waga Energy, Meridiam and GRDF launched an RNG production facility at the Madaillan landfill site in Bassillac et Auberoche (South-West France). The facility equipped with technology developed and patented by Waga Energy will inject up to 20 GWh/year of renewable gas into the GRDF grid, meeting the annual gas consumption needs of some 3,000 households in the Grand Périgueux metropolitan area. This project falls within the scope of a partnership between Waga Energy and the benefit corporation Meridiam aimed at speeding up the rollout of WAGABOX® facilities. It is also supported by the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region.
Efforts to upgrade biogas produced by the decomposition and fermentation of waste at landfill sites are an important piece in the circular waste management puzzle. With the commissioning of an RNG production facility at its Madaillan site, SUEZ has set its sights on innovation as a means of achieving high-level energy performance and thus driving the green transition in the region. Since November 2022, biogas emitted by the site has been upgraded to RNG and injected directly into the GRDF grid to cover users’ heating, cooking and domestic hot water needs as well as fueling their vehicles.
Every year, the Madaillan landfill site processes 105,000 metric tons of household and similar waste produced by the Dordogne region. This site previously recovered the biogas produced by the breakdown of waste as heat and electricity. The new facility at the site now also supplies the Grand Périgueux metropolitan area with renewable gas.
The WAGABOX® facility at the Madaillan site supplies 20 GWh/year of RNG, meeting the annual consumption needs of some 3,000 households. By producing RNG as a substitute for fossil-based natural gas, it will save 3,300 metric tons of CO2eq emissions per year. The equipment was funded by Waga Energy and Meridiam, a benefit corporation specializing in the funding and long-term management of sustainable infrastructure. The Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region also provided financial backing for this project, which will help meet regional targets of 30% green gas by 2030 and 100% by 2050.
The WAGABOX® technology developed by Waga Energy combines membrane filtration and cryogenic distillation to separate energy-rich methane gas from other components of gas emitted by the fermentation of organic waste (carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen and volatile organic compounds). It supplies high-quality RNG that can be directly injected into natural gas grids.
This is the third WAGABOX® facility to be commissioned through the partnership between Waga Energy and Meridiam, with the first two commissioned at the SUEZ site in Les Ventes-de-Bourse (Orne) and the Sivom SGMAM site in Liéoux (Haute-Garonne).
SUEZ and Waga Energy have jointly carried out four other RNG injection projects through a collaboration initiated in 2017. These WAGABOX® facilities are operated in Saint-Maximin (Oise), Gueltas (Morbihan), Chevilly (Loiret) and Montois-la-Montagne (Moselle).
With a combined installed capacity of over 130 GWh per year, these six units will supply over 20,000 French households with renewable gas, thereby saving around 25,000 metric tons of CO2eq emissions per year.
Yves Rannou, SUEZ Chief Operating Officer Recycling & Recovery: “Madaillan is the sixth SUEZ site to operate an RNG production facility through this partnership. This achievement is further evidence that waste is a resource that can be tapped to increase regions’ energy independence, while also helping cut CO2 emissions. Through this project, SUEZ is enabling its clients to create value throughout the life cycle of their infrastructure and services.”
Mathieu Lefebvre, CEO of Waga Energy: “An early adopter of the WAGABOX® solution, SUEZ has now put its faith in us once again with this new facility commissioned at the Madaillan site. Through this project, which also involves Meridiam, GRDF and the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, we are helping to tackle climate change and improve the region’s economic independence, while also showcasing French industrial expertise in the fields of waste treatment and recovery.”
Thierry Déau, Meridiam Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer: “This is the third WAGABOX® RNG project that we have supported in France through our partnership with Waga Energy. It showcases our expertise on recovering household, industrial and agricultural organic waste as renewable energy in the region. Moreover, it reflects our commitment to the green transition and our ability to support innovative companies and French regions in this vital transformation. This resolutely sustainable venture embodies our contribution to the emergence of a genuinely circular economy and a responsible local industry.”
Thierry Grangetas, GRDF Regional Director for South-West France: “Over 50 anaerobic digestion facilities are in operation in Nouvelle-Aquitaine and a hundred are being considered for the region, with the potential to inject gas capable of heating 300,000 new homes by 2026. The drive for green gas is in full swing in Nouvelle-Aquitaine thanks to the commitment of regional stakeholders including local authorities, farmers and industry, who we support on a daily basis. Green gas has a key role to play in the future energy mix and our primary objective is to support the green gas industry to meet the regional target of 30% green gas by 2030.”
 This estimate is based on a comparison of emission factors for natural gas and RNG in France as determined by the Base Carbone database administered by the French Agency for Ecological Transition (ADEME), incorporating direct and indirect emissions.