Gas Networks Ireland

06/14/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/14/2024 02:09

Gas Networks Ireland Seeks Expressions of Interest from Biomethane Producers for New Mitchelstown Central Grid Injection Facility

Gas Networks Ireland is now inviting expressions of interest from current and prospective biomethane producers to supply biomethane to its new Central Grid Injection (CGI) facility in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork.

Interested parties should submit their expressions of interest by close of business on Friday, July 12th at www.gasnetworks.ie/mitchelstown-cgi.

Producers are asked to provide details on the location and status of their biomethane plants, along with optional information, such as the stage of planning, feedstock type, and the size or scale of the biomethane plant.

CGI facilities provide injection points for biomethane production sites that may be located too far away from the existing gas network. In this case, a viable alternative is to compress the biomethane to a higher pressure and transport it by trailer to a point where it can be injected into the gas network. CGIs will represent a critical aspect of biomethane injection, facilitating biomethane production regardless of a producers' geographical location and proximity to the gas network.

Based on Climate Action Plan targets, it is expected that the decarbonisation of transport in Ireland will run in parallel with the decarbonisation of the gas network, and on this basis, it is expected that renewable fuels, such as bioCNG, will be utilised in the transport of renewable gases.

The new Mitchelstown CGI facility, currently in the detailed design phase with equipment procurement underway, represents a significant advancement in Ireland's renewable energy infrastructure.

At full capacity, the facility will be capable of injecting up to 700 GWh of renewable gas into the national gas network annually. This volume represents 1.2% of Ireland's total gas demand and equates to about 12% of the Government's 5.7 TWh per annum biomethane production target for 2030, reducing national CO₂ emissions by approximately 130,000 tonnes per year.

Construction of the facility is expected to begin later this year, with commissioning anticipated in the first quarter of next year.

The Mitchelstown CGI facility is the centrepiece of the much wider €30 million Green Renewable Agricultural Zero Emissions (GRAZE) project in Mitchelstown.

GRAZE is designed to showcase large-scale agricultural biomethane clusters that can be replicated in other locations throughout the State and is aiming to source biomethane from a number of local suppliers. Led by Gas Networks Ireland, the GRAZE project is supported by more than €8.4 million in funding from the Climate Action Fund, as part of the Government's National Energy Security Framework.

Gas Networks Ireland's Head of Business Development, Karen Doyle said:

"We are delighted to be in a position to begin the process of booking capacity for the Mitchelstown CGI facility. This marks an exciting time for Ireland's nascent biomethane industry, given the Government's publication of the National Biomethane Strategy in May and our recently announcedpartnership with Bia Energy's €63 million biomethane plant, which will connect directly to the national network via a Renewable Gas Entry Point.

Our previous market testing exercises, and research have revealed Ireland's potential to replace more than a quarter of natural gas on the network with biomethane, creating significant new agri-income streams and reducing Ireland's total emissions by nearly four million tonnes annually. With over 170 potential biomethane producers eager to contribute, there is the potential to achieve and possibly exceed the State's current target of 5.7 TWh."