The federal government published last March 22 three measures to encourage the production of biogas and biomethane, entered into jointly by the Ministry of Environment (MMA) and the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME).

Decree 11,003/22 instituted the Federal Strategy to Encourage the Sustainable Use of Biogas and Biomethane, with the objective of encouraging programs to reduce methane emissions and promote the use of biogas and biomethane, establishing various guidelines for the sector, such as stimulating the preparation of plans and signing industry agreements; promoting the implementation of technologies that allow the use of biogas and biomethane as sources of energy and renewable fuel; and promoting the implementation of biodigesters, biogas purification systems, and biomethane production and compression systems.

These measures depend on specific regulations by the MMA and MME, but they already open the way for private sector negotiations with the federal government for the structuring of new projects.

Decree 627/GM/MME, of March 17, 2022, included non-associated natural gas and biomethane production projects as eligible for the Special Arrangement of Incentives for Infrastructure Development (Reidi), in accordance with Ordinance 19/GM/MME, of August 16, 2021.

This arrangement has the potential to stimulate new investments and implementation of new projects in the sector, ending the legal uncertainty regarding the application of Reidi and discussions regarding the need to equate operations with biomethane to those promoted with natural gas, already contemplated in the incentive.

The MMA has also instituted the National Program for the Reduction of Methane Emission (Zero Methane), which has among its guidelines fomentation of industry plans and agreements; the incentive to the carbon credit market; and the stimulus to the use of biogas and biomethane.

The program will be coordinated by the Environmental Quality Bureau, in coordination with the MMA's Climate and International Relations Bureau, aiming to develop partnerships with other governmental bodies, the private sector, and civil society for the implementation of its strategic objectives.

The measures are based on Law 14,134/21 (Gas Law), which also included biogas as part of the strategic plan for promoting the natural gas sector. The new Gas Law has authorized regulatory standards that encourage the development of natural gas-related projects to also apply to other types of gas, including biogas arising from the biological decomposition of organic matter.

In this sense, Decree 10,712/21, which regulated the new Gas Law, determines that, for all purposes, biomethane and other gases interchangeable with natural gas should have regulatory treatment equivalent to natural gas.