Cristal Union to buy stake in biogas venture of TotalEnergies

BioNorrois - TotalEnergies's forthcoming biogas venture will utilize sugar beet residue sourced from one of Cristal Union's facilities.

French sugar producer Cristal Union has announced that it has planned to acquire a 10% stake in TotalEnergies’s forthcoming biogas venture called “BioNorrois.” The TotalEnergies firm is set to commence operations later this year.

The new company has been created to utilize sugar beet residue sourced from one of Cristal Union’s facilities. The information has been shared by the companies released statements.

In this agreement, Cristal Union, ranking as France’s second-largest sugar producer, commits to providing beet pulp for a duration of 15 years to fuel the biogas plant.

This supply from Cristal Union’s factory in Fontaine-le-Dun, located in northwestern France, will constitute over half of the 185,000 metric tons of material to be processed by the plant upon its launch. The remaining feedstock will consist of agri-food waste procured by the French energy conglomerate.

Previously, the pulp from Cristal Union’s sugar plant had been utilized in animal feed, as stated by a spokesperson from the company. BioNorrois is projected to generate close to 100 gigawatt hours (GWh) annually at its inception, with a potential peak capacity of 153 GWh per year.

Additionally, the biogas production process will yield organic fertilizer, which will be distributed to cooperative members of Cristal Union situated in proximity to the plant.

Cristal Union’s Fontaine-le-Dun facility processes over 10,000 tons of sugar beet daily during its campaign, spanning between four to five months, resulting in an annual sugar production of 200,000 tons.

This collaboration marks another instance of a sugar producer engaging in biogas initiatives, following the footsteps of competitor Tereos, which partnered with food giants Nestle and Bonduelle in 2017 to supply a biogas plant owned by Engie in Eppeville, northern France.

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