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2005-03-24 | Onyx wins contract to produce electricity from Biogas

Onyx was awarded the only electricity production project relying on biogas collection and recovery from household and non-hazardous industrial waste in the " Biomass* Biogas** " competitive bid organized by the French Ministry for Industry and the Commission de Régulation de l'Electricité (CRE) to promote renewable energies.

The French Ministry for Industry selected a proposal submitted by Onyx-REP bearing on biogas recovery at the sanitary landfill in Claye-Souilly, not far from Paris. Annual capacity at this 529-acre (214-hectare) site, France's largest in terms of received tonnage, is 1,100,000 tons of residual waste (household and non-hazardous industrial waste).

An objective was set for each Member State by European Directive 2001/77/EC of 27 September 2001, which bears on renewable energies: by 2010, 21% of its total electricity consumption must be generated using renewable energies. With this in mind, the French government called for bids for the construction, before 1 January 2007, of power plants to generate over 12 MW from biomass and biogas. The 160-million-euro contract awarded to Onyx was the only biogas project selected.

Currently, biogas generated by organic waste is already being captured and recovered at this residual landfill. In 1999, Onyx anticipated future trends: part of the biogas produced on site was used to generate electricity. The new Onyx contract calls for installing new equipment to generate an extra 16 MW and converting the remaining part of the collected biogas to energy. All of the electricity generated will be sold to EDF. Capacity is expected to reach 27 MW by 2007, equivalent to the domestic energy consumption of a city of 80,000 in the Ile de France region, a large importer of energy.

The contract will be signed as part of the CRE bidding process for a period of 15 years. The installations should come on stream by 31 December 2006. Total capital expenditure is estimated at 21.3 million euros.

By capturing biogas and converting it into electricity, the Ile de France region can become more self-sufficient in terms of its energy supply and help fight the greenhouse effect.

This success reflects Onyx's policy of developing waste-to-energy technologies at its processing and treatment facilities in France and worldwide. 

*Biomass: fuel of vegetable origin used to generate energy
**Biogas: gas obtained by fermenting organic waste

Analyst and institutional investor contact: Nathalie Pinon +33 1 71 75 01 67
US Investor contact: Brian Sullivan +(1) 630 371 2749