Ara Partners in European biogas move

Private equity firm Ara Partners said it has partnered with Laurence Molke to create CycleØ, a European biomethane platform, through the acquisition of Spanish small-scale LNG firm FNX Liquid Natural Gas.

In a statement released this week, Houston-based Ara Partners did not reveal much about the acquisition of FNX.

Spain’s HAM Group said in January 2020 it had acquired FNX for an undisclosed amount.

Located in Bilbao, the company has experience in biogas capture and conversion via both compression and liquefaction technologies for vehicular and industrial applications, as well as injection directly into existing pipelines.

The firm’s projects include an operating plant in Vilanant which is the first biogas-to-vehicle (bio-G2V) CNG project in Spain, and a plant in Faenza, which is one of the largest bio-LNG plants in Europe and the first bio-G2V LNG project in Italy, according to Ara Partners.

In addition to these plants, FNX has a project in late-stage development in Catalonia which will be amongst the first biogas-to-grid (bio-G2G) projects in Spain, it said.

Based on this experience, CycleØ, which is led by Molke as CEO, would actively develop and operate biomethane projects across Europe, ARA Partners said.

The company’s proprietary technologies capture, process and upgrade naturally occurring methane gas produced principally by the agri-food and livestock industries.

In addition to farmers becoming distributed energy producers of the future, they would “dramatically” reduce their greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining current outputs, the statement said.

Also, CycleØ’s processed biomethane is used as a “valuable green energy resource” in any application as a direct substitute for traditional forms of natural gas.

The company would particularly focus on opportunities in the bio-G2V and bio-G2G markets, the statement said.

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