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Butagaz breaks the mould

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Butagaz, a leading French brand distributing gas in bottles and tanks, continues its innovation drive to contribute to meeting France's greenhouse gas emissions reduction target. The partnership with Global Bioenergies aims to incorporate batches of bio-isobutene produced at Global Bioenergies' demo plant as early as 2017 and then by the first commercial bio-isobutene plant once built in France.

Butane and propane are extracted from natural gas or produced from oil refining. They are distributed in either bottles or tanks and are among the cleanest forms of fossil fuel. Butagaz's goal is to further reduce the carbon footprint of these value chains. Historically, isobutene is a hydrocarbon derived from oil with physico-chemical characteristics very close to those of butane and propane. Global Bioenergies is developing a process to convert byproducts of the sugar industry into isobutene – then known as 'bio-isobutene' because of its plant-based origin. Bio-isobutene is suitable for use in the butane and propane streams.

Butagaz and Global Bioenergies have announced the signing of an exclusive partnership for France to incorporate bio-isobutene into butane and propane. Butagaz will contribute financially to Global Bioenergies' industrial development, in return for reserved batches of isobutene: starting in 2017, Global Bioenergies' demo plant will produce several batches for delivery to Butagaz. In the longer term, Butagaz has the potential to purchase thousands of tonnes of bio-isobutene when the first commercial plant comes on stream. Part of this 'made in France' bio-isobutene could then be incorporated into Butagaz's bottles or tanks of butane and propane.

From 2017, Global Bioenergies and Butagaz will conduct a joint technical and economic study to examine the large scale incorporation of renewable components for the butane and propane sectors.

A few weeks after the firm bid to acquire Gaz Européen, the natural gas supplier for business clients, the Butagaz Group continues to innovate in its strategy of diversifying its energy business to offer the best possible service to its customers. "At Butagaz, we are doubly proud of this partnership. First, it demonstrates that a long established brand in energy comfort in France knows how to innovate and to invest in cutting edge technologies to reduce CO2 emissions throughout the gas life cycle, from production through to sale. Second, we are delighted that Butagaz is the first gas supplier in France wishing to offer butane and propane containing bio-isobutene to millions of households throughout the country. This step is part of our long term vision to play an effective and efficient role in energy transition", said Emmanuel Trivin, Chairman of Butagaz.

"We are continuing to diversify the potential applications of bio-isobutene. We are also progressing in building up the commercial eco-system of IBN-One, the future first full-scale plant. Our partnership with Butagaz, a leading energy supplier, will enable us to have an impact on the daily lives of many French people, helping them to reduce their carbon footprint even further", said Marc Delcourt, CEO of Global Bioenergies.

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