Canadian Biomass Magazine

RNG offtake agreement aims to decarbonize emissions from Enviva’s operations

October 21, 2021
By Enviva

Enviva Partners and GreenGasUSA have entered into a 10-year renewable natural gas (RNG) offtake agreement to decarbonize natural gas-related emissions in Enviva’s operations.

More than 64,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent from the atmosphere every year, equaling about 14,000 passenger cars being removed from the road, are expected to be eliminated as a result of the agreement.

Enviva’s commitment underwrites a stand-alone GreenGasUSA project to install equipment that captures and treats methane currently being released directly into the atmosphere at a food processing facility in rural South Carolina. As part of the agreement, GreenGasUSA will transport the RNG directly to Enviva’s Hamlet plant to be utilized in its emissions control equipment in place of fossil natural gas in the beginning of the third quarter of 2022.

The elimination of direct methane emissions at the food processing facility and conversion of these gases into RNG will be one of the first “food waste-to-RNG projects” conducted in the U.S. Southeast. The methane captured and emissions eliminated as a result of this offtake agreement are expected to offset about 75 per cent of all Enviva’s direct emissions from its manufacturing operations, or Scope 1 emissions, on an annual basis for the duration of the 10-year agreement.

“We are proud to partner with GreenGasUSA to minimize the use of fossil fuels in our Scope 1 emissions and execute on highly effective carbon-neutral strategies,” Thomas Meth, co-founder and executive vice-president of sales and marketing at Enviva, said. “Selecting GreenGasUSA for this project was a natural choice as several of their agricultural partners are in close proximity to our existing operational infrastructure. The environmental benefits they provide to the communities they serve and their potential to grow and expand with us as a service provider underscores our excitement about this new collaboration.”

Studies have shown that methane released into the atmosphere is a highly potent greenhouse gas that is 85 times more impactful than CO2 over a 20-year lifecycle. Capturing fugitive methane from wastewater facilities, landfills, agricultural activities, and other sources has been identified by the EPA as a key strategy to reduce greenhouse gases and slow global warming. In addition, RNG projects provide much needed investment and income in rural agricultural communities disconnected from infrastructure.

“Through GreenGasUSA’s innovative work with established local agribusiness industries, South Carolina is leading the way in carbon mitigation through methane capture,” South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers said. “This new partnership reinforces a strong commitment to our environment and to rural South Carolina.”

Marc Fetten, founder and CEO of GreenGasUSA, said eliminating greenhouse gas emissions and creating new income streams for farmers continues to be gratifying work.

“Industry leadership, such as Enviva’s commitment to carbon neutrality, is an enabling driver for these types of projects,” he said.

Earlier this year, Enviva announced a net-zero commitment that will reduce, eliminate, or offset all of its direct emissions by 2030. As part of this ambitious plan to cut carbon emissions from fossil fuels and improve energy efficiency, Enviva agreed to adopt innovative and improved lower-emission processes through investments in projects that result in real, additional, and third-party verified net-carbon reductions.

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