AstraZeneca to power UK sites with biomethane in decarbonization drive

British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca is partnering with Future Biogas to power its UK sites with low-carbon energy as part of company decarbonization efforts.

Future Biogas will build a renewable energy plant that will enable AstraZeneca to replace natural gas with biomethane, for heating and cooling at its sites. The biomethane plant will be built in East Anglia to power AstraZeneca’s sites in Macclesfield, Cambridge, Speke, and Luton.

The deal will help the pharmaceutical firm move closer to its goal of becoming zero-carbon by the end of 2025. AstraZeneca will also be transitioning to 100% electric vehicles to help achieve these goals, according to a company statement.

The new facility is expected to convert locally grown crops into about 125 GWh of biomethane capacity, equivalent to the heat required by 9,000 homes.

Through the partnership with Future Biogas, AstraZeneca will access bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) through the Northern Lights partnership in Norway, a joint venture supported by the Norwegian Government.

Carbon dioxide generated through the Future Biogas plant will be captured and transported to the Northern Lights storage facility, where it will be permanently sequestered more than a mile underwater.

Project construction will begin in 2023.

Juliette White, Vice President Global SHE & Operations Sustainability at AstraZeneca, said: “At AstraZeneca, we are committed to operating in a responsible way that recognizes the interconnection between the needs of patients, society and the limitations of our planet.

“We’re proud to be working in partnership with innovative organizations like Future Biogas to enable the sustainable discovery, development and manufacture of medicines and vaccines. Through such collaborations, we’re making progress on our ambition to become carbon zero across our operations by end of 2025 and carbon-negative across our value chain by 2030.”

Future Biogas is one of the UK’s largest biogas producers, currently operating ten plants.


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