ATH Bioenergy starts construction of the first biomethane & fertiliser plant in the Canary Islands

Source: 5/27/2024, Location: Europe

This pioneering and innovative new facility aims to transform the energy and waste management landscape on the Islands.

ATH Bionenergy, a pioneer in the renewable energy sector, has already started its ambitious strategic plan to build four innovative plants that will transform waste from hotels and supermarkets into biomethane and fertilisers. The laying of the first stone of the Arinaga facility, in the southeast of Gran Canaria, took place this Friday, in the presence of the Minister of Public Administrations and Democratic Memory of the Government of Spain, Ángel Víctor Torres; the President of the Government of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo; the Minister of Ecological Transition and Energy of the Government of the Canary Islands, Mariano Hernández; the President of the Cabildo of Gran Canaria, Antonio Morales; and the Mayor of Agüimes, Óscar Hernández; among other regional and local authorities.

This pioneering project, supported by investment from Suma Capital and Tibanna AG, aims to revolutionise waste management and energy production in the archipelago by harnessing the collaboration of multiple actors in the value chain, including the hotel sector and agriculture. “Our goal is to convert waste from hotels and supermarkets into biogas, biomethane and fertiliser, creating a circular economic and environmental model that produces low-carbon energy and high-quality fertiliser for local agriculture,” explained Ruperto Unzué, partner at Suma Capital and president of ATH Bioenergy.

For his part, Ángel Víctor Torres pointed out that “if there is a place in the European Union, or even in the entire planet, where the use of clean energies has great potential and can be used by citizens with the aim of protecting the environment, it is undoubtedly the Canary Islands archipelago”. The Minister of Public Administration and Democratic Memory ended his speech with the statement that “the Canary Islands have unbeatable conditions to be the battering ram in the fight against climate change”.

For his part, Fernando Clavijo said that “this project shows how the tourism sector can contribute to the economic diversification and development of this land through activities other than overnight stays and consumption, but which are directly linked to them”. And in this sense, the Canary Islands President added that “we have to learn to relate to our environment in a different way, limiting the volume of waste and, when this is impossible, giving it a second useful life. Because the future of the Canary Islands will be green or it won’t be”.

Antonio Morales, president of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, was of the same opinion, stating that “ATH Bioenergy is promoting a project that contributes to consolidating the ecoisla project. This biogas plant will therefore become a pillar of the circular economy of Gran Canaria. Achieving a circular and regenerative economy will be a basic component of the carbon-neutral future we are designing“.

100 million investment in the Canary Islands
The first of the plants, located in Gran Canaria, will start the construction phase this summer, followed by future facilities in Tenerife, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote that will begin construction between the second half of 2024 and 2025.

Once operational from 2026, these plants will collectively treat around 130,000 tonnes of organic waste, including food waste from hotels, pruning waste, banana waste and food industry waste, and will produce more than 133GWh of biomethane annually, which will be supplied back to hotels and industries in the area.

With a total investment of around 100 million euros, ATH Bioenergy will strengthen the local economy by creating skilled jobs and promoting sustainable environmental management, generating 200 direct and indirect jobs on the islands.

For the success of this project, the needs and stakeholders have been taken into account and collaboration between the different actors in the value chain, including the hotel sector, organic waste producers, farmers and local communities, is fundamental.

This cooperation contributes not only to generating jobs, but also plays a crucial role in reducing polluting emissions from fossil fuels, preserving biodiversity, and improving the quality of life and health in the region.

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