Macquarie Asset Management’s Green Investment Group (GIG) announced today the launch of VORN Bioenergy, an investment platform for the development, construction and operation of biomethane projects, established as the EU aims to significantly ramp investment in the space over the next few years.
Biomethane is derived from the decomposition of organic waste materials, and can be used as a renewable, low carbon alternative to fossil-based fuels such as natural gas.
Macquarie’s growing focus in the area comes as the EU rolls out its REPowerEU plan, the European Commission strategy to reduce European reliance on Russian fossil fuels through measures including the deployment of renewable and clean energy capacity. The plan includes a target to produce 35 billion cubic metres of biomethane by 2030, expected to require the construction of 5,000 new biomethane plants and approximately €80 billion in capital investment.
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 new platform is based on GIG’s BayWa r.e. Bioenergy GmbH, acquired by the firm in October 2022. At the time of the acquisition, BayWa operated five operational plants in Germany, producing approximately 140 GWh of biomethane annually, and Macquarie said that it aimed to explore opportunities to grow the business’ presence in Germany, Italy and other existing and emerging growth markets in Europe.
Since completing the transaction, Macquarie said that the company has secured the environmental permit for its first project in Italy, with construction expected to begin this year, with nine more projects at various stages of development across the country, and has started exploring opportunities in emerging growth markets including Spain. Additionally, the company said that it is integrating technology processes at some of its sites in Germany, introducing carbon capture and liquefaction technology to create food-grade quality CO2.
Macquarie also said that the platform’s team has seen a “substantial increase in headcount,” with an ongoing recruitment program in place.
Christian Bracklow, Co-Managing Director of VORN, said:
“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.”