French oil group Total said on Jan. 11 it had acquired Fonroche Biogaz, a leading producer of renewable gas that designs, builds and operates anaerobic digestion units in France with nearly 500 gigawatt-hours of installed capacity.

The latest acquisition comes amid a broader push by the firm to build up its presence in electricity markets and in renewable energy and reduce its dependence on oil, and Total said last week it would invest over $2 billion in this segment in 2021.

Drawing on the expertise of its 85 employees, Fonroche Biogaz has developed industrial and technological expertise across the entire renewable gas value chain. Its integration marks a significant step in Total’s development on the renewable gas market, with prospects for rapid growth on the French market and for international deployment.

It gave no financial details for the Fonroche purchase. Total aims to produce 1.5 terawatt-hours of biomethane a year by 2025, the group said in a statement.

With this acquisition, Total becomes a major player in renewable gas in France and Europe, and significantly strengthens its presence in the sector, already effective through its affiliates Méthanergy (combined heat and power production from biogas), PitPoint and Clean Energy (biomethane production and distribution via a network of Bio-CNG/Bio-LNG stations) in Benelux and the United States respectively.

In December 2020, Total signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Clean Energy to establish a $100 million 50/50 joint venture to develop renewable gas production projects in the United States. By 2030, Total plans to produce 4 to 6 TWh of biomethane a year.