Shell has agreed to acquire Nature Energy Biogas from a group of institutional investors, including Davidson Kempner Capital Management, Pioneer Point Partners, and Sampension, for an enterprise value of roughly $2 billion.
1979 saw the establishment of Nature Energy as a natural gas distributor; in 2015, the company established its first biogas plant. According to Shell, the business is now the largest RNG generator in Europe, running 14 industrial-scale biomethane facilities with an annual production of around 6.5 million MMBtu and a development pipeline of approximately 30 projects in Europe and North America.
RNG, also known as biomethane, is produced from organic waste, such as agricultural, industrial, and household wastes, and is chemically identical to fossil-based natural gas, allowing it to support the decarbonization of difficult-to-control sectors, such as road transport and heavy industry, without the need to replace existing transmission and distribution infrastructure.
The transaction aligns with Shell's Powering Progress strategy, per the company. Launched last year, the strategy outlines how the company will reach its goal of being a net-zero energy business for Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions by 2050, as well as how it will invest in renewable and clean energy solutions. The company recently announced the relocation of its headquarters from The Hague to the United Kingdom as part of an endeavor to expedite the implementation of its ambition to become a corporation with zero net emissions.
In addition to its RNG assets and pipeline, Shell noted that the acquisition will give it design, building, and operation knowledge for unique and differentiated RNG plant technologies.
Huibert Vigevano, director of Shell's downstream operations, stated:
Shell's existing RNG projects in the United States will gain a European production platform and expansion pipeline through the acquisition of Nature Energy. We will use this acquisition to establish an integrated RNG value chain on a global scale, at a time when energy transition rules and customer preferences indicate high demand growth over the next several years."
Following bp's $4 billion acquisition of U.S. RNG supplier Archaea Energy, this transaction represents the second large-scale RNG transaction by an energy major in recent weeks.