The Project was initiated by AB2M, a company created in 2011 by c. 110 farmers in the Mayenne department (west of France). Meridiam joined the initial developers of the Agrimaine Biogas Cogen in May 2017 to jointly lead and finalize the development of the project which reached financial close in December 2017. The project refinancing closed in October 2021 with the support of three main commercial banks (Crédit Agricole Anjou-Maine, Banque Populaire Grand Ouest and Arkea). The project consists of developing, implementing, financing, operating and maintaining a 3.65 MW cogeneration power plant.
Agrimaine Biogas Cogen project is one of the two methanization projects selected under the CRE (Commission de Régulation de l’Energie) #5 tender and, as such, benefits from government support through a preferential long-term tariff for the electricity generated.
The project company has secured long-term biomass supply contracts with AB2M.
The c. 110 farmers involved in the project produce approximately 20% of the biomass of the area and provide 99% of the project needs (150,000 Mt/year).
The Project contributes to the goals set by the French Energy Code regarding waste treatment, the recovery of non-recyclable solid waste, and the replacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy sources:
• reduction of methane and CO2 emissions (93kt CO2eq avoided over the project lifetime),
• heat is provided to the local Lactalis plant, enabling that plant to reduce its fossil fuel consumption,
• the digestate from the biogas plant is redistributed to the farmers and used as fertilizers.
Meridiam has also undertaken a thorough impact assessment on Agrimaine in 2020, which was updated in 2021 as part of the review of externalities and impacts from our portfolio of biogas assets in Europe, with the support of ENEA. This assessment demonstrated the project’s highly positive impact on the socio-economic environment of the area, which is sometimes suffering from depopulation and from challenges related to the profitability of farming businesses. The 110 shareholders of AB2M are all farmers located in a 25 km area around the biogas unit. This model provides them with extra revenue through the sale of biomass production and contributes to reducing their cost base by using of digestate as fertilizer.
As part of the construction, additional works were made to integrate a sanitation unit to the methanization plant. In line with the latest environmental regulations, this sanitation unit eliminates bacteria in the digestate, before this digestate is redistributed to the farmers and used as fertilizer.
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and cogeneration plant in France at completion date
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