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Aemetis Biogas digesters, upgrading and pipeline operational and in service

Aemetis Biogas digesters, upgrading and pipeline operational and in service
Biogas pipeline network of Aemetis Biogas, a subsidiary of Aemetis (image courtesy Aemetis).

In the United States (US), Aemetis, Inc., a renewable natural gas (RNG) and renewable fuels company focused on negative carbon intensity products, has announced that after completing construction, testing, and commissioning, the company has accepted into service 36 miles of additional biogas pipeline; two biogas digesters, the biogas-to-RNG upgrading facility, and the utility gas pipeline interconnection unit.

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Two additional dairy digesters will be commissioned and operating in February, with another dairy digester fully operational in March.

Four dairy digesters, approximately 40 miles of biogas pipeline, the central biogas-to-RNG facility, and the utility pipeline injection unit are now completed and fully operational, with three more dairy digesters beginning production in February and March.

Aemetis RNG is being sold into the PG&E utility gas pipeline and will be stored underground until Aemetis Biogas receives approval from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for the issuance of credits under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).

The RNG production data collection required for CARB’s Pathway approval process has been completed, and applications will be submitted in February for CARB review and approval.

Over the last several years, Aemetis has announced milestones for the significant growth of our Carbon-Negative Renewable Natural Gas operations. These milestones have included the phased construction of pipelines, biogas digesters at dairy farms, and the upgrade unit that transforms the dairy biogas into RNG. Today, these central systems are now operational and in-service, transporting and converting the biogas from four operating dairy digesters with three more dairy digesters coming online soon, said Andy Foster, President of Aemetis Biogas, Inc.

The Aemetis pressurized pipeline conveys conditioned, pressurized biogas from dairy digesters to the Company’s centralized gas cleanup facility and the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) interconnection unit to inject RNG into the gas utility pipeline.

The RNG is used as a negative carbon intensity transportation fuel primarily to replace diesel in trucks and buses.

The initial four-mile Phase 1 pipeline project was completed and commissioned in the third quarter of 2020 in conjunction with the completion of the Company’s first two dairy digesters.

California, and especially Merced and Stanislaus Counties, recognize that the adoption of dairy biogas as a negative carbon intensity fuel to replace diesel in heavy trucks and buses is essential. Aemetis is taking action to reduce carbon pollution and improve local air quality in the most impacted Central Valley communities while creating jobs in an expanding green economy for future generations. Aemetis continues to rapidly deploy the infrastructure necessary to connect our network of dairy digesters and increase the production of carbon-negative dairy renewable natural gas, Andy Foster said.

The pipeline project and the US$12 million biogas cleanup facility are funded in part by a US$4.2 million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC) and a US$5 million grant from the CPUC RNG Pipeline Interconnection Incentive Program.

Aemetis recently announced the closing of US$25 million of 20-year financing with Greater Commercial Lending (GCL) which provides loans to businesses and organizations in under-served and rural communities.

This long-term project financing was guaranteed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and carries approximately a 6 percent fixed interest rate for the first five years.

Government-guaranteed loans, such as USDA REAP, can be crucial to encourage the development of new and innovative projects such as the Aemetis Biogas dairy digester and pipeline project. With GCL’s support, we continue to expand the number of digesters that capture methane emissions from dairy farms and convert the methane into a negative carbon intensity renewable fuel, said Eric McAfee, CEO and Founder of Aemetis, Inc.

About 25 percent of the methane emissions in California are emitted from dairy waste lagoons. When fully built, the Aemetis biogas project plans to connect dairy digesters spanning approximately 60 dairy farms, capturing more than 1.65 MMBtu of dairy methane each year.

The project is designed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions equivalent to an estimated 6.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) over ten years.

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