The French environmental services group Suez is entering the waste management market in the Czech Republic with the acquisition of a 60 per cent stake in the company Anaerobic Power Biogas Benešov spol. s r.o. (APBB). Until now Suez has only been active in the water sector in that country. The remaining 40 per cent share in APBB remains the property of the seller Cayan Holding, according to Suez's announcement issued last week. The French group did not disclose how much it paid for the shares.
According to Suez, APBB operates an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant with a capacity of 25,000 tonnes of biowaste per year in Benešov, south-east of Prague. The plant processes biowaste from households, the food processing industry, and supermarkets and restaurants in Prague and its suburbs. The biogas it produces is converted into electricity and fed into the Czech grid. Suez estimates the facility's annual energy production at 8 GWh. The digestate residues from the plant are used as fertiliser in agriculture.
Suez describes APBB as a "pioneer of the Czech biogas sector" and reports that the company has developed a pre-treatment process that involves deconditioning, shredding, and extraction of non-organic matter. The preparation of the waste allows for "high stability of organic matter for optimal digestion", the French group said. According to Cayan, the plant has achieves a high yield of 200 to 220 m³ of biogas per tonne of input material.
Using organic and biowaste to generate biogas had the potential to make a significant contribution to the Czech Republic's ecological transformation, particularly considering the country's heavy reliance on coal and oil in its current energy mix, Suez said. Under the country's Waste Act, municipalities have been required to separately collect biowaste and to reduce the volume of biowaste consigned to landfill since January 2021.
"This acquisition is fully in line with the group's commitment to the recovery of bio-waste, a 100 per cent green energy, produced and distributed locally, which contributes to the energy and ecological transition of its customers," Suez CEO Sabrina Soussan said.
Akram Alrabayah, CEO of Cayan, also commented on the partnership, saying, "We are thrilled to partner with Suez group and welcome their entry into APBB operations and know-how. This step will help APBB further expand its green technology in the Czech Republic. APBB targets to drive and lead waste processing innovation into energy and beyond, making Europe a prime leader and example in sustainability and climate change solutions."
According to the Malta-based Cayan Holding, it acquired APBB in 2019. The biogas plant in Benešov had been in operation since 2009, said the investment firm, and the facility would receive the Czech "green bonus" for electricity fed into the grid until the end of 2028.
Suez says it has been active in drinking water supply and wastewater management in the Czech Republic for more than 30 years. With around 1,700 employees in that country, the company has a national turnover of €200m per year.