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First-of-its-kind Canadian renewable gas project launched at Quebec landfill site


April 14, 2021
By Waga Energey

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A renewable natural gas (RNG) injection project is being launched at the Saint-Étienne-des-Grés, Que. landfill site, making it the first project of its kind in Canada.

Joining forces for the project are Waga Energy, the Mauricie Residual Materials Management Board (RGMRM) and Énergir. The project will involve Wagabox technology that allows landfill site operators to recover the gas emanating from these sites in the form RNG, also known as biomethane.

Waga Energy is committing to purchase the gas produced by waste products from the RGMRM for a 20-year period. A treatment unit will be built on site with Waga Energy using its Wagabox technology. Waga Energy will fund the unit’s construction and operation, as well as the costs of connecting the site to the local gas network. Énergir will purchase RNG production from Waga Energy, helping to achieve the Quebec government’s objective of introducing a 10 per cent share of renewable gas into the network by 2030.

Saint-Étienne-des-Grès is the largest community-managed landfill site in Quebec, and RGMRM will become the first North American waste treatment operator to benefit from the Wagabox solution, which combines new technology and an investor-operator model. This site receives 180,000 tons of waste each year.

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The unit in Saint-Étienne-des-Grès will be built in Quebec by the Canadian subsidiary of Waga Energy and will be operational as of 2022. It be able to treat up to 3,400 cubic metres of gas and produce 468,000 gigajoules of RNG per year, which is the equivalent to the annual consumption of 8,000 Quebec households. Its operation will prevent 23,000 tonnes of CO2e emissions each year.

Waga Energy is a European leader in landfill gas recovery in the form of RNG and operates 10 Wagabox units in France. They supply close to 35,000 homes with renewable gas, thereby preventing 45,000 tonnes of CO2e emissions each year.

“This contract is the result of an initiative undertaken several months ago to identify the best technology to enable us to use our landfill gas to its full potential,” Michel Angers, president of RGMRM, said. “Thanks to the Wagabox technology, treating our gas is no longer an expense, it is a new income stream, and more importantly, it is yet another step towards a more sustainable approach to landfill management. The project fits perfectly with the government’s greenhouse gas reduction objectives, and we are proud to contribute to Quebec’s energy transition.”

Mathieu Lefebvre, president and co-founder of Waga Energy, said the technology will allow hundreds of landfill sites across the United States and Canada to produce renewable natural gas, contribute to the energy transition and generate a new revenue stream, without the need for investment or additional operating constraints.