- CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere are at the highest of the modern record era
- EverGen develops and operates renewable natural gas projects that significantly reduce pollutants like CO2 and methane
- With major customers and partners, EverGen has expanded from a single facility in British Columbia to a series of projects across Canada
Natural gas prices are soaring around the world, partly contributing to the inflation in Europe that has risen to a record 10% in September. At the same time, citizens in New Jersey gripe over state regulators approving natural gas rate hikes that went into effect Saturday ahead of the cold weather season. While prices rise and all eyes are on natural gas, the climate change debate rages on. Throwing fuel into the fire, a special supplement to the bulletin of the American Meteorological Society that was released in August, paints an eye-popping picture of the level of carbon dioxide (“CO2”) in the atmosphere. Decarbonization isn’t easy, but thankfully, there are companies like EverGen Infrastructure (TSX.V: EVGN) (OTCQX: EVGIF) that are rising to the challenge to provide RNG solutions for utilities who are increasingly looking to reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels and slash pollution.
According to the report, CO2 concentrations increased 2.6 parts per million in 2021 from 2020, the fifth-higher growth rate since the start of the instrumental record in 1958. The increase pushed CO2 concentration in the atmosphere to the highest of the modern record era and ice core records dating back 800,000 years.
Not to be left out, methane (“CH4”) concentrations in 2021 were also at a record high. Methane comes from a variety of anthropogenic and natural sources, such as landfills, oil and natural gas systems, and agricultural activities, amongst other things.
There are emerging technologies (i.e., low-carbon hydrogen, carbon capture, utilization, and storage) to neutralize the environmental effect of natural gas that will be available in the future. In the meantime, companies and utilities are increasingly turning to RNG, also called biogas, as an option to natural gas extracted from the Earth.
RNG is produced from decomposing organic waste from landfills, agricultural waste, and wastewater from treatment facilities. The process includes using anaerobic (devoid of oxygen) digestors to break down waste to produce biogas and digestate. The biogas is purified and used for heat and electricity or as biomethane for the natural gas grid or for powering vehicles. Digestate puts to use captured nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus, using it for products such as fertilizer and livestock bedding.
Not only is the waste used productively for sustainable products, but usage as feedstock also prevents natural decomposition in landfills or storage ponds, meaning significant levels of methane are kept from being released into the atmosphere.
Climate change awareness has consumers, regulators and companies alike clamoring about implementing sustainable alternatives to natural gas, driving demand for RNG. This benefits EverGen, which has contracts with utilities and municipalities to produce and sell its RNG.
EverGen was initially focused within its home province of British Columbia, where it owns three projects – Fraser Valley Biogas, Net Zero Waste Abbottsford, and Sea to Sky Soils – before it began expanding eastward across the country. The company is amid an expansion at Fraser Valley Biogas that will double RNG production to ~160,000 gigajoules (“GJ”) per year as part of a longer-term strategy to reach 1,000,000 GJ. EverGen’s projects are all structured via long term offtake agreements, and they already have a buyer who has been eagerly looking for new RNG supply. As testament to this, last week, EverGen signed a term sheet for a long-term offtake agreement that would replace and expiring agreement for RNG production at Fraser Valley. Pursuant to the new terms, the buyer commits to purchasing up to 190,000 GJ annually from the facility.
To the east, EverGen has a 67% stake in GrowTEC, a multi-faceted bioenergy venture located on the Perry Family farm outside Lethbridge, Alberta that includes and operating biogas facility. The facility is slated to be modified to produce RNG that will be sold to FortisBC and tied into the local pipeline network. FortisBC is bullish on RNG, using it as part of its initiative to make a minimum of 15% of its gas supply carbon neutral by 2030.
Most recently, EverGen acquired a 50% interest in Project Radius, a late-development stage portfolio of three high-quality RNG projects that will serve as the foundation of EverGen’s portfolio in Ontario. This project will cement EverGen’s position in the populous province that has copious amounts of organic feedstock. Collectively, the RNG output at the projects is estimate at 1,700,000 GJ annually.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.EvergenInfra.com.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to EVGIF are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/EVGIF
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