The Company applies a design-build-own-operate model to all its projects. Nature Energy’s leading position in biomethane production from organic waste is underpinned by three key market drivers: the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; providing local, secure and affordable energy; and solving for the increasing amount of organic waste in a circular manner.
For Shell, the acquisition further increases the company’s ability to work with its established customer base across multiple sectors to accelerate its transition to net-zero emissions. It will also support Shell’s ambition to profitably grow its low carbon fuels production and customer offering in its world-leading customer-facing Marketing business.
Nature Energy is currently owned by a consortium of institutional investors, including Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, Pioneer Point Partners and Sampension (collectively, the “NGF Partnership”), with deep experience developing and building European market leaders in the energy transition and environmental sectors.
Over the last five years, Nature Energy has experienced a phase of intensive organic and inorganic growth through strategic investments, with the number of plants in operation increasing from 4 to 14 and its biomethane production growing from 37mm m3 (c. 1.3mm MMBtu/yr) to approximately 180mm m3 (c. 6.5mm MMBtu/yr) today.
Nature Energy has developed a series of technology-led initiatives to increase the biomethane yield and monetize other output streams. The Company has expanded internationally across France, the Netherlands, and North America, and employs more than 400 people worldwide, a five-fold increase over the period.
Jesper Lok, Chair of the Board of Nature Energy, stated, "Under the stewardship of the NGF Partnership, Nature Energy has grown into a leading producer of biomethane from organic waste and has pioneered a standardized large-scale commercial production process in Denmark that creates higher on-farm crop yields. Under the new ownership of Shell, our team will continue to advance its unique vision of unlocking additional valuable resources from waste materials while offering secure and affordable energy to customers and promoting a circular economy.”
Ole Hvelplund, CEO of Nature Energy, said, “This transaction would not be possible without the entire Nature Energy organization, our talented and dedicated employees, our industry partners, as well as our investors — who always believed in our mission and have made invaluable contributions to Nature Energy’s growth and success. We look forward to the next phase of growth, and we remain excited about our near-term prospects to help address both the current energy insecurity, as well as the longer-term potential for biomethane capacity set out in the REPowerEU plan.”
Huibert Vigeveno, Shell’s Downstream Director, commented, “Shell’s competitiveness in low carbon fuels derives from capabilities across the value chain, combining a world-class Trading and Supply organization with access to differentiated technology and production assets. Acquiring Nature Energy will add a European production platform and growth pipeline to Shell’s existing RNG projects in the United States.
"We will use this acquisition to build an integrated RNG value chain at global scale, at a time when energy transition policies and customer preferences are signalling strong growth in demand in the years ahead.”
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023.
J.P. Morgan Securities plc acted as sole financial advisor to the NGF Partnership on the sale of Nature Energy.