Canadian Biomass Magazine

NRCan funding advances Semiahmoo RNG project in B.C.

June 28, 2023
By Andion

Andion announced today that the Semiahmoo RNG project has moved into the closing phase on the development of a full-scale anaerobic digestion facility on Semiahmoo Reserve Lands thanks to funding from Natural Resources Canada.

The project will process organic waste from household, multi-family as well as businesses in the surrounding area, and generate RNG, a carbon-negative energy source that can directly displace fossil fuels customers who receive RNG via FortisBC’s existing distribution network.

The facility will be jointly owned by Semiahmoo First Nation’s economic arm, SE-MI-AH-MU LP, and Andion North America, and is the first major economic development project on the reserve. The project will offset fossil fuel use, divert organic waste, create jobs and revenue for the Semiahmoo Nation, and recycle nutrients back into ecosystems.

“We have carefully and thoughtfully chosen a project that aligns with our core values to preserve and protect the natural environment, while bringing economic benefits to the nation,” said Semiahmoo Chief, Harley Chappell. “We will be a partner and a co-owner of the project which will be situated on the Semiahmoo lands. This project set a new precedent in B.C. for environmental stewardship by creating clean, carbon-negative renewable energy.”


“We are very proud to have formed and progressed this very unique partnership with the Semiahmoo First Nation. The facility will be of enormous value to the local communities both environmentally and economically,” said Phillip Abrary, Andion CEO. “The facility will process organic waste from surrounding communities, reducing the waste that would otherwise end up in landfill. The resulting biomethane from the facility is a carbon-negative gas that will be conveyed via existing gas pipelines to power and heat local communities. Additionally, as a byproduct of the anaerobic digestion process, we will be generating a nutrient rich soil amendment that can be used on local farms and replace synthetic fertilizers further displacing the use of fossil fuels.”

“The Governments of Canada and B.C. are committed to working together to advance large-scale renewable energy projects needed to anchor the sector, decarbonize large industry and bring extensive global major project experience to B.C.,” said Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. “We will work together with Indigenous partners, like the Semiahmoo First Nation, and engage with industry, labour and other essential partners, to establish a shared understanding of the key growth opportunities and interests, as well as the concrete actions required to achieve them. Our goals are for alignment with First Nations communities, and to ensure full Indigenous participation.”

“Renewable natural gas blends seamlessly into B.C.’s existing natural gas system, and it decarbonizes the conventional natural gas supply by displacing the equivalent volumes of conventional natural gas and lowers greenhouse gas emissions overall,” said David Bennett, director of renewable gas and low-carbon fuels at FortisBC. “Increasing the amount of RNG in our system is an important aspect of our Clean Growth Pathway and the provincial government’s CleanBC Roadmap. As such, our gas system will continue to play an important role in meeting B.C.’s climate action goals as we accelerate the transition to renewable and low-carbon energy, including RNG and in the future hydrogen.”

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