(Reuters) – Engie announced on Thursday the acquisition of Ixora Energy Ltd in the United Kingdom, for an amount of 64.8 million pounds sterling (75.06 million euros), to strengthen its presence in biomethane in Europe.

Made from investment manager Downing LLP, this acquisition allows the French energy company to add three new production units to its portfolio, located in Devon and Somerset, which produce a total of 160 gigawatt hours (GWh) of biomethane per year.

While the group is targeting 10 terawatt-hours (TWh) of biomethane production per year by 2030 in Europe, compared to 1 TWh projected by early 2024, Engie stressed that it must now develop outside of France – where it had an installed capacity of 670 GWh per year as of June 30 – targeting the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Italy and Spain.

“Our objective this year was to establish ourselves elsewhere than in France, with this acquisition of Ixora, we are achieving this. The next country in which we will be producers will be the Netherlands (…), since it is where we are the most advanced in terms of development projects,” said Camille Bonenfant-Jeanneney, general director of “renewable gases Europe” activities, during a press conference.

Engie having the ambition to grow in biomethane through construction, acquisitions and partnerships, Camille Bonenfant-Jeanneney added that the group needed to “mix the different development paths”, particularly because the projects for new large units time to materialize.

To achieve its green gas production objectives, Engie plans to invest 3 billion euros by 2030. By the same deadline, it aims to market 30 TWh per year of biomethane.

(Report by Benjamin Mallet, with Diana Mandiá, edited by Blandine Hénault)

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