EverGen to invest $31M in B.C. RNG facility construction, upgrades
August 16, 2022
By EverGen Infrastructure Corp.
EverGen Infrastructure Corp. has signed a term sheet with its existing lender, Roynat Capital (a subsidiary of Scotiabank) and Export Development Canada (EDC) for a $31 million syndicated senior term loan (the facility) to support the upgrade and construction of its renewable natural gas (RNG) facilities at Fraser Valley Biogas (FVB) and Net Zero Waste Abbotsford (NZWA), respectively.
“The Facility is an integral component to EverGen’s capital structure as we embark on our planned upgrade and expansion projects, and we are very pleased to have the support of high quality debt partners in Roynat and EDC,” said Chase Edgelow, CEO of EverGen. “This Facility ensures our near-term Core RNG Expansion projects are fully funded to deliver 480,000 GJ of RNG annually and compliments our strong balance sheet, positive cash flow and anticipated grant funding available to EverGen. This incremental liquidity and financial flexibility is fundamental as we continue to expand our RNG infrastructure platform across Canada. This milestone builds upon our team’s recent execution success including the addition of our Alberta and Ontario projects (GrowTEC and Project Radius) – delivering accretive growth to our shareholders.”
The proposed Facility is a five-year senior term loan with a 10-year amortization period and interest only payments for the first 12 months. The Facility is secured by certain assets of the company and includes customary terms and conditions. The Facility will bear interest at a rate of 30-day Banker’s Acceptance + 3.5 to 4.5 per cent based on certain covenants. The Facility remains subject to the successful completion of due diligence.
Once approved, $15 million will be available to finance the Fraser Valley Biogas RNG Expansion Project and an additional $16 million will become available to EverGen to support the Net Zero Abbotsford RNG Expansion Project.
Core RNG expansion project updates:
Fraser Valley Biogas RNG expansion project (B.C.)
FVB is the original producing RNG project in Western Canada and the first project to produce RNG into FortisBC’s network. The facility combines anaerobic digestion and biogas upgrading to produce RNG, primarily by converting agricultural waste from local dairy farms.
The FVB facility is currently undergoing a capital expansion project to add additional RNG production capacity that is expected to double the capacity of the facility and increase RNG production to ~160,000 GJ per year. Capital costs for this project are anticipated to be $13-15 million, with construction beginning in late Q3 2022 and with anticipated completion in Q1 2023. These upgrades, coupled with a new off-take contract that is in late-stage negotiations, will provide a significant uplift to EverGen’s RNG production capabilities to ~120,000 GJ per year, with the ramp-up to full capacity of ~160,000 GJ per year expected to begin in mid-2023, following amendments to existing permits.
Net Zero Waste Abbotsford RNG expansion project (B.C.)
NZWA is an organic waste conversion facility in British Columbia that primarily processes inbound organics, yard waste and biosolids for a contracted tipping fee, and produces high-quality organic compost and soils for farmers, gardeners, and developers.
The capital expansion project at NZWA will add anaerobic digestion capabilities to produce biogas, which will then be upgraded to RNG to feed into FortisBC’s gas network under an existing 20-year off-take agreement. The expansion is expected to increase the facility’s inbound organics throughput to ~135,000 tonnes of feedstock per year and is designed to produce ~180,000 GJ of RNG per year.
Capital costs for this project are anticipated to be $32-35 million. Construction of the upgrade will begin upon receipt of building and regulatory approvals, for which applications were submitted earlier this year. The region has experienced delays in regulatory approvals as a result of ongoing COVID implications and the flooding event in late-2021. EverGen’s dedicated project team has been making progress working to expedite approvals and is awaiting feedback. At this stage, the project is anticipated to break ground in approximately 12 months, followed by a 6-8 month construction window.
GrowTEC RNG expansion project (Alberta)
GrowTEC, is an operating farm scale biogas facility consisting of an anaerobic digester, which has been converting biodegradable waste into biogas and generating renewable power for over seven years. EverGen and GrowTEC will be completing additions to the facility this year to process the biogas and upgrade it to RNG, which will be tied into the local pipeline network. GrowTEC has an offtake agreement with FortisBC and will contribute to FortisBC’s target to have at least 15 per cent of its gas supply carbon neutral by 2030.
The first phase of development will deliver 80,000 GJ of RNG annually and is anticipated to be complete and producing gas into FortisBC’s network at the end of 2022. EverGen’s GrowTEC project team is working to accelerate the second phase of expansion, which is expected to add an additional 60,000 GJ of RNG per year, for a total of 140,000 GJ of RNG production per year from the facility.
Core development project updates:
Project Radius (Ontario)
Project Radius, located in southern Ontario, is a late-development-stage portfolio of three large scale, on-farm RNG projects, collectively capable of producing ~1.7 million GJ per year of RNG that will contribute to the reduction of emissions from agricultural operations in southern Ontario. Each of the three projects is expected to produce ~550,000 GJ per year with construction on the initial project expected to commence in the next 12 months.
Pursuant to the company’s equity plan, on August 2, 2022, the company granted 20,000 restricted share units (RSUs) to a director of the company.
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