Methane Use Growing Though Price Increasing - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Methane Use Growing Though Price Increasing

Published July 24, 2012

The price of methane for cars per cubic metre has risen, but so has the demand for the gas.
Iceland’s experiment with introducing more methane hybrid cars to the country’s traffic might only be a few years old, but its increasing popularity is already beginning to show. RÚV reports that demand is on the rise, and competition is around the corner.
A cubic metre of methane is now 149 ISK, up 18 ISK from last week, at some N1 locations. Magnús Ásgeirsson, who works in the economics department of the company, said that the reason for the price hike comes from Sorpa – the garbage treatment company which bottles methane from rotting waste.
Head engineer at Sorpa Bjarni Hjarðar said that the price hike was necessary due to upgrading their refining and filtration system for the gas, which is tapped directly from landfills. Increased demand has meant that they needed to improve the refining process. Furthermore, fuel companies Metanorka and Olís have both made deals with Sorpa to buy methane, which will probably lead to more competitive prices for methane in the near future.
Magnús says that if 2012 figures so far are any indication, this year’s methane consumption will end up being twice what it was last year, and four times what it was in 2010.
Methane production has been underway further up north as well, where Norðurorka has drilled eight boreholes into a local landfill to collect the methane, from which it is estimated about half a million cubic metres of the gas can be harvested each year for the next 25 years.

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