London, 28 February 2023
A specialist European biomethane platform backed by Macquarie Asset Management’s Green Investment Group (GIG) has today provided an update on its progress and relaunched its operations under a new brand.
Following GIG’s acquisition of BayWa r.e. Bioenergy GmbH via the Macquarie Green Investment Group Energy Transition Solutions fund 100 days ago, the company has announced it will begin operating from today as VORN Bioenergy (VORN).
Active across the full asset lifecycle, VORN develops, constructs and operates biomethane projects which provide biomethane and power to local energy companies, industrial companies and energy traders. The business’ current portfolio comprises five operational plants in Germany, which produce approximately 140 GWh of biomethane annually, helping to avoid 13.16 ktCO2e of GHG emissions every year1. This is the equivalent to removing over 4,000 petrol cars from the road for the duration of the projects2.
With GIG’s support and oversight, VORN has continued to progress and expand its development pipeline. Recently it secured the environmental permit for its first project in Italy which will be developed with local partner Alvus. Construction of the 1,000 sm3/hr project in Ferrara is expected to commence in 2023, with a further nine projects currently at various stages of development across the country.
VORN has begun exploring opportunities in emerging growth markets including Spain, where it has established a new partnership with Greenar to take forward greenfield development projects. To realise its growth ambitions, VORN will continue to partner with local developers across Spain and other jurisdictions in Europe.
VORN is integrating new technology processes to enhance its operational assets across Germany, including introducing carbon capture and liquefaction technology to create food-grade quality CO2 across some of its sites. VORN is actively exploring these new technologies at its existing assets at Brandis and Horn which will further contribute to the low carbon credentials of the biomethane sector.
Since GIG’s acquisition, the VORN team has also grown, with a substantial increase in headcount and ongoing recruitment programme with additional roles remaining open for application.
Christian Bracklow, Co-Managing Director of VORN, said: “Our business has been at the forefront of Europe’s biogas market for over a decade, and it’s exciting to start this next phase of growth with a brand that reflects our continued commitment to leadership. With the Green Investment Group’s support, in just 100 days, we’ve progressed new projects, new partnerships and even expanded into new markets, all while delivering the same level of quality service for our existing customers. I look forward to seeing what the next chapter of our development will bring.”
Chris Archer, Co-Head of the Green Investment Group in Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “As corporates and governments look to the next phase of deep decarbonisation, we are seeing huge appetite for access to green gases and alternative fuels. Biomethane production, in particular, is set for significant expansion. The VORN team have been pioneers of this industry for many years now and bring immense technical expertise. We are pleased to be working with them as they grow the platform and help deliver Europe’s decarbonisation ambitions.”
The new VORN brand reflects the company’s history leading the market and its growth ambitions in the European biomethane sector, having previously launched Europe’s first biomethane plant in 2006. The brand also identifies strongly with the circular economy and the key role biomethane assets will play, not only in decarbonising natural gas use, but also in creating a closed loop in the agricultural sector from waste generation to land fertilisation.
GIG’s investment in VORN comes as the European Union seeks to rapidly reduce its dependency on imported natural gas, and as corporate and industrial customers look for decarbonisation solutions. Biomethane has been demonstrated to be an attractive solution offering a direct alternative to natural gas, while simultaneously helping to treat agricultural waste. The European Commission’s recently launched REPowerEU agenda details several goals, including a target to produce 35 billion cubic metres (roughly 350 TWh) of biomethane by 2030. Meeting this goal is expected to require the construction of 5,000 new biomethane plants across the EU and approximately €80 billion in capital investment.
Green Investment Group (GIG) is a specialist green investor within Macquarie Asset Management, and a global leader in the development of companies, assets and technologies that aim to accelerate the global transition to net zero. Initially launched by the UK Government in 2012 as the Green Investment Bank, it was the first institution of its type in the world. Acquired by Macquarie in 2017, GIG has grown to become one of the world’s largest green investors with a development pipeline of 85 GW in over 25 markets, spanning established renewables and emerging green technologies.
Macquarie Asset Management is a global asset manager that aims to deliver positive impact for everyone. Trusted by institutions, pension funds, governments, and individuals to manage approximately €519.40 billion in assets globally. Macquarie Asset Management is part of Macquarie Group, a diversified financial group providing clients with asset management, finance, banking, advisory and risk and capital solutions across debt, equity, and commodities.
All figures as at 30 September 2022.
VORN Bioenergy is a leading biomethane producer and project developer, with over 40 biogas projects delivered in Germany and beyond, including Europe’s first biomethane plant in 2006. VORN has delivered biomethane plant development, construction, management, and optimisation across a 130+ MW project portfolio in six European markets and has an additional 70+ MW additional development pipeline. In October 2022, VORN Bioenergy was acquired by Macquarie Asset Management’s Green Investment Group (GIG), reflecting the company’s growth ambitions in the European biogas sector.