Hauts-de-Seine: biogas for clean energy

The Gennevilliers biogas plant (Hauts de Seine) will produce green energy in the heart of the largest river port in Île-de-France. A project depending on multiple constraints, and which BG will follow from start to finish, as a member of the project management assistance team.

There is no doubt: we must deal quickly with the climate emergency. In this race, the future Gennevilliers biogas plant must assert itself on a highly disputed ground, in the midst of significant environmental constraints. Producing clean energy there is a real challenge. At BG, the Environment and Waste Management Business Unit Manager Franck Le Flohic, agrees: “At first, the catalogue of these constraints seemed endless – until you challenged them systematically, like unravelling a ball. We end up responding to them”.

A sensitive environment

The chosen site is located at the confluence between the major bed of the Seine and the eastern entrance to the port of Gennevilliers. Problems: space is occupied, in bulk, by a few piles of a double viaduct of the A15 motorway, through a wooded area to be protected, by a flood-prone area of the Seine, and by another area that is part of TOTAL’s technological risk prevention plan.

In addition, it is crossed by two liquid hydrocarbon transport pipes belonging to the Le Havre/Paris pipeline network.

And last but not least, this same land is also within the protection perimeter of a historic monument. Remote and hardly visible, of course, but nevertheless “restrictive” in the landscape. Although fully located in the municipality of Gennevilliers, the project must therefore avoid inconveniencing nearby municipalities (Argenteuil, L’Île-Saint-Denis, Epinay-sur-Seine), whether through landscape, olfactory and/or noise pollution.

Clean energy and useful digestate

The Gennevilliers anaerobic digestion unit will treat 50,000 tonnes of biowaste annually (collected from households, producers, street markets, school canteens and other catering establishments) to produce green and renewable energy that can be injected into the public distribution network of natural gas. This partial substitution of fossil fuels by biomethane will contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases. As for the digestate, residue from anaerobic digestion, it can be recovered after composting, in the form of fertiliser for agriculture. The project is led by Sigeif (public service for gas, electricity and local energies in Île-de-France) and Syctom, the metropolitan agency for household waste. The commissioning of the facilities is scheduled for the end of 2024.

(Article taken from BG Magazine 2021, updated version on the site)