Biomethane drives green public transport in Estonia

EnviThan biogas upgrading plants brought online successfully

Lohne/Saerbeck, 13 July 2020 – A mere six months separated order placement and the first feed-in into the Estonian gas network for the two latest gas upgrading plants from the EnviTec Biogas Group. “The two projects in Tartu and Vinni are our first EnviThan plants in Estonia, and represent a milestone for our sales strategy in Eastern Europe,” says Lars von Lehmden, Managing Director of EnviTec Anlagenbau GmbH & Co. KG. 

Both plants are operated by a joint venture of local energy companies. “By offering environmentally friendly biomethane for the transport sector, we are looking to play a leading role in the Baltic region,” says Kalev Reiljan from Elenger, one of the stakeholders. The company’s network makes it the market leader in the CNG filling station segment in Estonia. Consumers can fuel their vehicles with both natural gas and biomethane at these stations. “Elenger also operates in Finland, Latvia and Lithuania,” adds von Lehmden. 

The expansion of environmentally friendly public transport in the Estonian capital city of Tallinn was the decisive factor for the customer’s decision to invest in gas upgrading provided by EnviThan. Local transport company Tallinna Linnatranspordi purchased a fleet of 100 CNG buses valued at EUR 27 million back in December 2019, von Lehmden reports, who also praises Estonian transport policy as being “miles ahead of policy here in Germany”. The buses purchased from Solaris Bus & Coach are each equipped with a gas storage cylinder capable of holding 315 litres of CNG. 

Before biogas can be fed into an existing natural gas network, the gas must first be purified and compressed to the respective gas pressure. This step will be handled by the two Estonian plants using the well-established EnviThan biogas upgrading technology. EnviTec Biogas installs membrane modules from Evonik Industries in its gas upgrading plants for this environmentally friendly and exceptionally cost-effective process. Each of the plants in Tartu and Vinni feeds the biomethane into the existing natural gas grid: the fuelling of public transport vehicles with biomethane is planned from this summer. 

The Republic of Estonia is the smallest Baltic state, with just 1.3 million inhabitants—roughly the same population as Lower Saxony in Germany. Estonia joined the European Union in 2004 and also has the lowest national debt of any EU member state: this gives it a positive entrepreneurial climate that also benefits those in the renewable energy sector.


Further information about renewable CNG in the transport sector:

* EnviTec Biogas uses the term ‘biomethane’ as a synonym for renewable CNG (compressed natural gas) and renewable natural gas.


About EnviTec Biogas AG

EnviTec Biogas AG is a full-service biogas provider who covers the entire value chain for the production and processing of biogas, including the planning and turnkey construction of biogas plants and biogas upgrading plants as well as their commissioning. The company takes charge of biological and technical services on demand and offers full plant and operational management. EnviTec operates 76 own plants, making it one of the largest biogas producers in Germany. The company’s business activities also include the direct marketing of processed biomethane as well as the marketing of electricity and balancing energy. With a presence in 16 countries worldwide, EnviTec Biogas AG is represented by its own companies, sales offices, strategic partners and joint ventures. In 2019, the EnviTec Group generated revenue of EUR 213.6 million and EBIT of EUR 10.3 million. The Group currently employs 433 people. EnviTec Biogas AG has been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since July 2007.



Katrin Hackfort
EnviTec Biogas AG
Phone: +49 25 74 88 88 - 810