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Biogas markets

Crossing borders

Manufacturers of biogas plants are suffering a massive slump on the German market, prompting attempts at further expansion abroad.

One company’s story is representative of the entire sector: MT-Energie GmbH suffered a huge drop in turnover in the first half of 2013 when demand for biogas plants continued to decrease. The company, whose headquarters are based in the north German town of Zeven, is among the biggest in the business of designing and constructing biogas plants, and has therefore been hit hard. The group’s turnover fell from EUR 42.5 million in the first half of 2012 to EUR 16.8 million in the same period in 2013, and, according to company estimates, its revenue in 2013 will be almost half of what it saw the previous year.

In a statement to the press, the company attributed part of the blame to the amended Renewable Energy Sources Act, which came into force in early 2012. These amendments reduced feed-in tariffs and introduced a cap to limit the use of maize in biogas plants. However, factors within the company have also contributed to its current difficulties. Due to the strong growth that the company enjoyed up to late 2011, its managers created overcapacity that they now need to reduce. Additionally, the partners took that opportunity to replace the management team. “We are going to focus on Europe for our core business,” says head of marketing Ingo Jagels.

This is an abridged version of the article – the full text is available in new energy issue 01/2014

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