Generating energy from biogas is the core business of Arol Energy, a venture supported by KIC InnoEnergy France. We have interviewed David Bossan, the founder , to know more about AROL Energy and their development plans.
Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, David had always wanted to start his own company. At 35, after a career in industry, his first choice was to take up an existing company providing turn-key thermal solutions. But while working in the development plan for this company, he came across a market opportunity in the area of biogas conversion in France. Indeed, the French government’s objective is to reach 1200 plants (around 900 cogeneration plants and 300 biomethane plants) by 2020. To achieve this objective, about 125 new plants per year need to be built. This fact, as well as the lack of specialized actors in this niche market in France, decided David to change plans and create his own biogas conversion company.
Arol Energy is now incubated at KIC InnoEnergy France, and we have interviewed David Bossan to know more about the company and its development plans.
David, tell us in a few words about Arol Energy’s core activity
Arol Energy provides turn-key solutions for converting biogas from methanisation plants either into electricity or into bio-methane that can be re-injected in the network. We have a global approach that takes into account all the questions around purification and valorization of biogas. We deal with all aspects from designing the solution, to installation and follow-up for starting up operation. We’ll also provide maintenance services and training.
At what stage is your company at the moment?
The company was incorporated in October 2012. This was also a key year for developing strategic partnerships and developing our own product range. I would point out our partnerships with Prosernat and CNRS that will allow us to integrate real innovations in our products. Currently we are performing R&D along axes, one oriented towards reducting the cost of biogas pre-treatment and the other oriented towards eliminating CO2 in biogas. We plan to have our product range ready by the second term of 2013 and start selling to our first customers early 2014. To do so, we’ll attend several specialized important fairs during the second part of the year. Currently the team is composed by three persons; myself as CEO and business development manager, a doctor specialized in chemical process engineering who spent the last two years doing some research in CEA Grenoble and a technician specialized in process design in the oil & gas industry. We also have several internships who work on various tasks including communication, business development and technical studies.
Can you tell us more about Arol’s development plans? How will be the company in 10 years?
10 years from now, we foresee a turnover of 30 M € and around 50 employees. We also plan to be present outside of France and this is where being part of KIC InnoEnergy is very useful for us.
We expect also to leverage our partnership with Prosernat for our foreign activities.
What is KIC InnoEnergy bringing you? Where would you expect support from KIC InnoEnergy in the future?
Apart from financial support, being coached at KIC InnoEnergy brings us a level of credibility and visibility that we really appreciate.
But I think that KIC InnoEnergy’s main potential is in its European network, and this is where I expect support – in facilitating access to its network and allowing us to reach potential partners and customers in Europe.
Another aspect that AROL is looking for is the collaboration with KIC InnoEnergy’s industrial partners in Innovation Projects about cogeneration solutions for fuel cells. This possibility of collaboration with industrial partners is something very specific about the KIC InnoEnergy network that I’d like to see enhanced in the future.