Shell acquires largest renewable natural gas producer in Europe
(WO) — Shell Petroleum NV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell plc (Shell), has completed the acquisition of 100% of the shares of Nature Energy Biogas A/S (Nature Energy).
By purchasing the shares in Nature Energy, Shell has acquired the largest producer of renewable natural gas (RNG) in Europe, its portfolio of operating plants, associated feedstock supply and infrastructure, its pipeline of growth projects and its in-house expertise in the design, construction, and operation of innovative and differentiated RNG plant technology.
This acquisition supports Shell’s ambitions to build an integrated RNG value chain on a global scale and to profitably grow its low-carbon offerings to customers across multiple sectors. Nature Energy is a cash generative business, and the acquisition is expected to be accretive to Shell’s earnings from completion and to deliver double digit returns. Shell will generate additional value in our unsurpassed customer access and global scale in our trading and supply chain positions.
Nature Energy will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell, initially under its existing brand.
Nature Energy was founded in 1979 as a natural gas distributor. The company established its first biogas plant in Denmark in 2015 and now has 14 operating plants with associated infrastructure, feedstock arrangements, and 2022 production of around 6.5 mln MMBtu/yr (3,000 boed).
The company also has a pipeline of around 30 new plant projects in Europe and North America. More than a third of these projects are in medium to late development stage in Denmark, the Netherlands and France and could deliver up to 9.2 mln MMBtu/yr (4,400 boed) by 2030.
This transaction fits Shell’s Powering Progress strategy to accelerate its energy transition and will be absorbed within the company’s 2023 capital range of $23-27 billion.
RNG, also known as biomethane, is chemically identical to conventional natural gas and can be used in existing transmission and distribution infrastructure. This makes it a competitive option to help decarbonize multiple hard to abate sectors including commercial road transport, marine, heating and heavy industry. The sustainability benefits are amplified by the processing and use of methane that could otherwise be released to the atmosphere from the decomposition of organic by‑products and waste.
Shell has an existing RNG production business in North America, with one operational site and three under construction. Shell also has an existing RNG trading portfolio in Europe, to which this acquisition will add new volumes and support Shell’s efforts to transition its growing European LNG customer base to BioLNG, with supply intended to span road, marine and other customers.