BioBéarn, Our Largest Anaerobic Digestion Unit in France

Location: France
Partners: TotalEnergies
Main activity: Biomethane production
Commissioning: 2023

160 GWh
annual biomethane production capacity
BioBearn map

In January 2023, TotalEnergies commissioned the BioBéarn biogas production unit in Mourenx in the south-west of France. With an annual production capacity of 160 gigawatt hours (GWh), BioBéarn has reinforced our position as a major biogas player in France and Europe.

BioBéarn has been built on a 7-hectare former brownfield site in the center of the Lacq basin and represents TotalEnergies' 18th biogas production unit1 in France. The unit will be capable of converting 220,000 tons of organic waste every year from local farming activities and the agri-food industry.

The anaerobic digestion process converts this feedstock into biogas. Once purified, the biogas becomes biomethane, which is a renewable and carbon-free gas offering similar characteristics to natural gas. Its production has been certified as sustainable by ISCC2 under the highest sustainability criteria of the EU REDII Directive.

Since January 2023, the unit has been feeding its biomethane into the natural gas transmission network operated by Teréga. It will gradually be scaled up to produce up to 160 GWh at 100% capacity, which is equivalent to the average annual consumption of 32,000 inhabitants. By avoiding the emission of 32,000 tons of CO2 per year, BioBéarn is also enabling the Lacq basin, a historical gas area, to achieve local and sustainable growth.

Finally, as part of a Biomethane Purchase Agreement signed in June 2023, BioBéarn will supply Saint-Gobain France with 100 GWh of biomethane over a three-year period starting in 2024. As such, we are supporting Saint-Gobain with its efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in France.

The BioBéarn anaerobic digestion unit in figures

Infographics « Key figures for the BioBéarn unit » - see detailed description hereafter
This new production unit builds on TotalEnergies' commitment to promote biogas, a clean gas that will strengthen the country's energy sovereignty and the development of the circular economy. This project will allow TotalEnergies to increase its production capacity in France to 700 GWh and heralds a new step towards its objective of reaching 20 TWh by 2030 globally.
Olivier Guerrini Biogas Business Unit, TotalEnergies

Include local stakeholders at the center of the project

Ever since the project was launched in 2016, BioBéarn's development has involved all local stakeholders - including more than 200 farmers and agri-food manufacturers, the local community and elected officials - allowing the project to adapt to the region's needs and potential.

The unit is supplied with organic waste from 90 local suppliers within an average radius of 40 kilometers of the site. The unit's integration into the landscape has been designed in liaison with the Lacq joint local authority. The almost 200,000 tons of digestate (residues from the anaerobic digestion process) produced each year by BioBéarn will be sprayed on farmland within a 50-kilometre radius of the unit. The use of this natural, hygienized fertilizer will reduce the need for chemical fertilizer by almost 5,000 tons.

(1) Including seven anaerobic digestion units producing biomethane for injection into the gas network and eleven biogas production units supplying electricity and heat through cogeneration.

(2)International Sustainability & Carbon Certification