Waga and Ferrovial to deliver huge landfill gas-to-biomethane project in Spain

19 January 2021

The Ferrovial Servicios group has contracted Waga Energy to produce biomethane at the Can Mata landfill, one of Spain’s largest, located near Barcelona. The Can Mata site will be the first in Spain to use the ‘Wagabox’ purification technology, developed by Waga Energy to recover landfill gas in the form of biomethane.

The Wagabox unit will be commissioned in 2022. It will be designed to treat up to 2200 m3/h of landfill gas and inject 70 GWh of biomethane per year into the gas network of the Spanish operator Nedgia. The project will avoid the emission of 17 000 tonnes of CO2 per year by substituting renewable gas for natural gas.

This is the first landfill gas injection project in Europe to be financed by a long-term power purchase agreement. This method of financing is common for renewable electricity projects, but rarely used for green gas projects, generally being unable to provide buyers with a competitive price over the long term. Waga Energy says that this ‘Biomethane Purchase Agreement’ has been made possible by the proven efficiency of its technology, combined with Waga Energy's expertise in the management of landfill biogas injection projects, and Ferrovial Servicios' experience of more than 50 years in the treatment and recovery of waste.

The two partners have adopted a business model that guarantees high performance throughout the project cycle. Waga Energy will purchase part of the landfill gas from the Can Mata site from Ferrovial Servicios, finance the construction and operation of the Wagabox unit, as well as manage relations with the gas network operator and the sale of the biomethane. Waga Energy will invest 7.5 million euros to commission the unit and connect the Can Mata site to the Nedgia gas grid, located four km away. 

Can Mata is one of the most important waste storage sites in Spain. It produces more than 40 million cubic metres of raw biogas per year, which has so far been used in the form of electricity and fuel to power a ceramic factory. The Wagabox unit will greatly increase energy yields. Combining membrane filtration and cryogenic distillation, the technology separates the methane contained in landfill gas for direct injection into gas grids. Ten units are already in operation in France, avoiding 45 000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

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