- Methane, such as that in livestock waste, is up to 50% more potent than carbon dioxide in holding heat in the atmosphere
- EverGen is an Infrastructure platform that specializes in renewable natural gas (“RNG”) projects converting diverse types of waste into usable, green alternatives to fossil fuels
- EverGen’s RNG capacity will exceed 2 million gigajoules annually once its projects and expansions are complete in B.C., Alberta, and Ontario
We are surrounded by untapped, atmosphere-friendly energy. The sun and wind are two popular sources today, but the problem is that it isn’t always sunny or windy. For EverGen Infrastructure (TSX.V: EVGN) (OTCQX: EVGIF), the answer to decarbonizing energy lies within the endless supply of waste, such as that found on dairy farms or food waste, two large contributors to the changing climate.
EverGen is a North American leader in renewable natural gas (“RNG”). The company owns three projects in its home province of British Columbia and moved eastward in 2022, making large investments in projects in Alberta and Ontario.
RNG is manufactured through the processing of food, livestock, crops, sewage, and other types of organic waste. Run through an anaerobic digester, the output is digestate and biogas. Digestate is used for things like fertilizer, livestock bedding, and soil amendments. Biogas can be used for clean electricity or heat as is, or further processed into biomethane (another name for RNG), which is used to power vehicles or pump directly into the existing natural gas grid, where it is indistinguishable to end users as any different from conventional natural gas drilled from underground sources.
Not only is there no drilling and all the subsequent environmental impact, there is also the added perk of reducing methane emissions. Media headlines tend to treat carbon dioxide, or CO2, from cars as the only source of global warming. While a key source and present on large concentrations, CO2 is not alone. Uncaptured methane gas from cow manure is 25x-30x more potent at capturing heat in the atmosphere than CO2.
Understand that the global warming is the result of greenhouses gases trapping heat in the atmosphere rather than allowing it to radiate out into space as infrared energy, effectively putting an imaginary ceiling around the Earth to hold in extra heat. It is estimated that carbon dioxide (56.4%) and methane (16.3%) make up nearly three-quarters of all greenhouse gases, with halocarbons (11.6%), ozone (10.2%) and nitrous oxide (5.4%) comprising most of the remainder.
With auto emissions mandates sweeping the globe, countries are also turning their attention to RNG for its benefits as a green alternative to fossil fuels. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in December released proposed legislation under the Renewable Fuel Standard (“RFS”) program, which included highly anticipated guidance on biogas electricity and RNG. The American Biogas Council (“ABC”) applauded the proposed laws and incentives that should support additional RNG adoption, investment, and innovation.
ABC also took the opportunity to spotlight the fact that the EPA has been woefully low in its recognition of the growth rate of RNG projects’ volume, reporting 8% annually growth, rather than the 20-40% that happened. ABC believes that there is a good chance that the EPA’s forecast for 36% annual RNG volume growth during 2023-2025 is probably too conservative also.
To the north, Canada is committed to growing RNG usage. In December, the governments of Ontario and Canada agreed to invest over $11.3 million to expand CHAR Technologies’ RNG facility in Thorold, Ontario, west of Niagara Falls. The RNG and biocarbon project, currently under construction, is the only RNG facility in Canada to exclusively use woody biomass as feedstock. Phase 1 is designed to generate 20,000 gigajoules per year of RNG and 2,000 tonnes per year of biocarbon.
Through its Export Development Canada (“EDC”) export credit agency, Canada is supporting expansion of EverGen Infrastructure’s RNG projects. In August, EDC, and Scotiabank subsidiary Roynat Capital signed a term sheet providing EverGen a $31 million syndicated senior term loan, enough to fully fund the planned expansion at EverGen’s Fraser Valley Biogas (“FVB”) and Net Zero Waste Abbotsford (“NZWA”) projects.
FVB is a staple of lower BC, operating since 2011 as the original RNG project of Western Canada supplying FortisBC’s energy network. The expansion renovation is underway and expected to double the facility’s capacity to produce about 160,000 gigajoules (“GJ”) of RNG each year. Feedstock for the facility is primarily agricultural waste from local dairy farms. FortisBC wants it all, signing a new offtake agreement for up to 190,000 GJ annually.
Moving east, EverGen completed its acquisition of a 67% interest in Alberta’s Grow the Energy Circle Ltd., GrowTEC for short, which is currently in the first phase of a core RNG expansion project designed to produce ~80,000 GJ/year of RNG. Construction is nearly complete with commissioning expected any day now. The facility will then move into the second phase of the project, which is expected to produce a total of 140,000 GJ/year of RNG.
That will give EverGen 300,000 GJ of RNG annually without consideration yet for Project Radius, a 50/50 partnership between EverGen and Northeast Renewables LP. The Radius portfolio consists of three late-stage, on-farm RNG projects in southern Ontario. Collectively, the projects are expected to product approximately 1.7 million gigajoules per year of RNG from organic feedstock, cementing EverGen and Ontario as North American leaders in RNG. Construction of the three projects is slated for 2023 and 2024.
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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