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Bioenergy DevCo and Chesapeake Utilities to develop RNG in Delmarva

In the United States (US), Bioenergy DevCo (BDC), a leading global developer of anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (CPK), a diversified energy company, on a project to remove excess organics from the poultry industry and convert it into renewable natural gas (RNG).

One of many BTS Biogas installations in Italy.

In the United States (US), Bioenergy DevCo (BDC), a leading global developer of anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities via its wholly-owned subsidiary BTS Biogas, has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (CPK), a diversified energy company, on a project to remove excess organics from the poultry industry and convert it into renewable natural gas (RNG) in the Delmarva region.

According to a statement, the intent is for Bioenergy DevCo (BDC) and Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (CPK) affiliates Eastern Shore Natural Gas, Chesapeake Utilities, and Marlin Gas Services, to collaborate on this project in addition to several other project sites where organic waste can be converted into a carbon-negative energy source.

Beyond the environmental and energy benefits, this project will also support the economy in the Delmarva region – a Peninsula on the US east coast in Delaware (DE), Maryland (MD), and Virginia (VA)

The resources generated from organic material at BDC’s anaerobic digestion facilities in Delaware, known as the Bioenergy Innovation Center, will be processed by CPK, while Eastern Shore Natural Gas and Marlin Gas Services will facilitate the transport and receipt of RNG for multiple suppliers through its interconnect facility and equipment.

Marlin Gas Services will transport the sustainable fuel to Eastern Shore Natural Gas – CPK’s interstate pipeline – where it will be introduced to CPK’s own distribution system and ultimately distributed to its natural gas customers. This project provides the opportunity for Chesapeake Utilities to maintain the green attributes of the RNG by distributing the gas to its own natural gas distribution customers.

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, by working together with municipalities and the food-industry, understands that digesting organics is a solution that creates a sustainable, environmentally-friendly supply of renewable natural gas while also helping to solve major waste management problems. Recent estimates have shown that turning agricultural waste and excess organics from the poultry industry into truly renewable natural gas could replace 7 billion gallons of diesel fuel and generate 70 000 new jobs. Companies that embrace utility-scale anaerobic digestion, like Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, are at the forefront of a revolution in waste and energy infrastructure innovation, said Shawn Kreloff, CEO of Bioenergy DevCo.

Poultry manure transformed into biogas and bio-fertilizer

Anaerobic digesters use naturally occurring microbes to break down food waste into biogas and an organic soil amendment used by farmers. This waste would otherwise be sent to a landfill where it would decompose and release greenhouse gasses (GHG).

Bioenergy DevCo is a leader in the financing design, construction, engineering, and operation of anaerobic digestion facilities. Through its wholly-owned subsidiary BTS Biogas, BDC can insure and guarantee facility performance of its more than 220 facilities worldwide.

We have taken steps to ensure that Chesapeake Utilities Corporation can support the emergence of the renewable fuels market and do its part to assist in managing agricultural and other waste recovery. These investments and our recent tariff changes to establish gas quality standards are evidence of our efforts. We see this partnership with BDC as the next important step in our commitment to operating with a focus on the environment and sustainability. By utilizing the RNG derived from processing excess poultry industry organics in the Delmarva region and transforming that into a carbon-negative energy source, we can help fuel homes and businesses throughout the community while supporting a more sustainable future. Beyond sustainability, these projects represent profitable growth investments across our value chain – natural gas transmission, natural gas distribution and our unregulated mobile compressed natural gas (CNG) business, Marlin Gas Services, said Jeff Householder, President, and CEO of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation.

Bioenergy DevCo is currently developing anaerobic digesters throughout the United States and has gained a strong foothold in the Mid-Atlantic region following a recently announced 20-year agreement with Perdue Farms, which manages poultry litter and material from processing at its facilities on the Delmarva Peninsula.

The Bioenergy Innovation Center’s anaerobic digestion facility will eventually contribute to the RNG used to power and heat homes in the region, ultimately delivered by Chesapeake Utilities – a clear example of the circular economy in action, and a replicable model of BDC’s vision for an economically viable and sustainable energy future.

Throughout the partnership, BDC and Chesapeake Utilities Corporation aim to jointly pursue a set of additional project sites to maximize the potential for RNG. BDC’s digester technology is designed to optimize the quantity and quality of RNG created, using a data-driven process that ensures reliable utility-grade gas production. This scientific approach is backed by BDC’s 22 years of experience managing complex anaerobic digesters around the globe.

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