By Jensen, Randy on July 27, 2020.
Lethbridge County and Lethbridge Biogas have announced a $7-million expansion of the company’s existing site that will provide new opportunities for the region.
Located in the Rave Industrial Park, Lethbridge Biogas has been operating in the County since 2013. The plant produces renewable electricity through the use of organic resources such as agricultural manures and food processing by-products.
The expansion will introduce Lethbridge Biogas into the natural gas market, by allowing for the plant’s biogas to be purified into pipeline-grade biomethane, (renewable natural gas – or RNG), which will be injected into ATCO’s natural gas grid, the County said in a news release. The carbon-neutral biomethane will also be supplied to FortisBC under a long-term supply agreement by mid-2021. Once the expansion is complete, Lethbridge Biogas will have the first full-scale, commercial renewable natural gas application in Alberta.
“This expansion at our Lethbridge Biogas facility is another significant milestone in the history of our project,” says Lethbridge Biogas director of operations Stefan Michalski, who also works on the national level as co-chair of the Canadian Biogas Association, in the release.
“It is the result of dedication and very hard work from our team over many, many years to get our business established, not only in the Lethbridge area but beyond in the Canadian and North American context. A lot of players in the RNG market were interested to become part of this expansion, as RNG has become a highly sought-after commodity to reduce the carbon footprint in the natural gas supply chain.
“We are extremely happy to be able to announce that we succeeded to secure a long-term offtake agreement for the RNG with FortisBC, who has an RNG program in place for its customers over 10 years now and is working on ambitious targets to reduce their GHG emissions 30 per cent by 2030. With this in place, we will be able to expand on future feedstock opportunities and will be a reliable partner for sustainable disposal of organic resources in the community for decades to come. We are currently scheduled to turn on the RNG tap by mid-2021 – stay tuned.”
Lethbridge County Reeve Lorne Hickey welcomed the announcement.
“This is a very exciting announcement for our region,” said Hickey. “This year has certainly been challenging for many businesses, so we are encouraged to see Lethbridge Biogas going ahead with this expansion that will add value to our economy while continuing their commitment to sustainable, renewable energy.”
Lethbridge County Economic Development Officer Martin Ebel said the expansion is a key part of what the County and its regional neighbours are working to build in the region.
“We are thrilled to have Lethbridge Biogas as part of the County’s business community, and are pleased that they are expanding their operations,” said Ebel.