Creation of Europe's biggest biogas plant

Basic Information

Mobility solution ID






With the ultimate aim of extending the supply of biogas filling stations, Lille evaluated the possibilities for the mass production of biogas from waste and sewage treatment.

Implementing sustainable mobility

Prior to measure implementation, biogas fuel was already being produced at a sewage treatment plant in the framework of the earlier “Thermie” project.  The aim under the CIVITAS TRENDSETTER project was to extend the supply of biogas filling stations following an evaluation of the feasibility of the mass production of biogas from sewage and organic waste, including technical reliability, production and distribution potential and economic competitiveness.

The specific aims were to:

  • strengthen the local production and distribution of biogas;
  • evaluate the competitiveness and reliability of the local mass production of biogas from sewage and organic waste; and
  • gain local experience in the production of biogas from organic waste.



A study on organic recovery was carried out, including a comparison of different valorisation techniques for raw biogas: electricity production, heat production, or compressed methane fuel. Based on this study, the Lille metropolitan authorities decided in 2004 to opt for methane fuel valorisation.

The construction of a big new organic waste plant, the largest in Europe, began in 2004, and a bus depot was also constructed in front of it to facilitate the compression and distribution of the natural gas.


Lille delivered an evaluation report on biogas production experience, which determined the competitiveness and reliability of the local production of biogas from sewage and organic waste. The global operation costs were shown to be attractive, and the volumes produced were able to satisfy the demand.

Construction of the plant was not completed within the project period, and the plant opened in 2007. The centre can treat 100,000 tons of biowaste per year, producing 5.2 million Nm3 per year of raw biogas with a methane content between 55 and 65 percent. This represents the highest potential volume of upgraded gas in Europe from one plant and sufficient compressed natural gas, conforming to European standards, to fuel 100 urban buses and 10 waste collection trucks, saving 4.5 million litres of diesel per year.

This fact sheet has been updated by a third party on the basis of available information (not by the city itself), therefore we do not guarantee any data with respect to their content, completeness or up-to-dateness.

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