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NW Natural and BioCarbN launch RNG partnership with Tyson Foods

In the United States (US), NW Natural, a subsidiary of Portland, Oregon (OR) based gas distribution company Northwest Natural Holding Company, is partnering with BioCarbN LLC, a Boise, Idaho (ID) based developer and operator of sustainable infrastructure projects, to convert methane from some of Tyson Foods Inc. facilities into renewable natural gas (RNG) to heat homes and businesses.

One of the world’s largest protein-focused food majors, Springdale, Arkansas (AK) headed Tyson Foods Inc. operates 225 (2019) beef, pork, poultry, and prepared food processing facilities in the United States (US) and 16 overseas facilities in Australia, Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, the Netherlands, South Korea, Thailand, and the United Kingdom (UK). NW Natural, a subsidiary of Portland, Oregon (OR) based gas distribution company Northwest Natural Holding Company, is partnering with BioCarbN LLC to convert methane from some of Tyson Foods facilities in the US into renewable natural gas (RNG) to heat homes and businesses in Oregon (photo courtesy Tyson Foods).

Under this partnership, NW Natural has options to invest up to an estimated US$38 million in four separate RNG development projects that will access biogas derived from wastewater treatment at Tyson Foods’ processing plants.

In December, NW Natural exercised its option for the first development project in Nebraska (NE), initiating investment in an estimated US$8 million project. Construction on this first project is expected to begin in early 2021, with completion and commissioning expected in late 2021.

Once fully operational, these four projects are expected to generate more than 1.2 million MMBtu of renewable natural gas (RNG) each year – enough RNG to provide heat for about 18 000 homes NW Natural serves in Oregon (OR).

This is the company’s first investment under the landmark new state RNG law, Oregon Senate Bill 98, which supports renewable energy procurement and investment by natural gas utilities.

Our vision is to champion innovative policies and new technologies to provide a substantial climate benefit for our customers. We have a long history of being leaders on environmental stewardship and climate change. This partnership is just one step forward in what we intend to be many to follow, as we work to source more and more of our supply from renewables over time, said David H. Anderson, President, and CEO of NW Natural.

Other RNG projects

Partners for these projects include BioCarbN, an Idaho-based developer and operator of renewable energy projects, and Cross River Infrastructure Partners (CRIP), a Connecticut (CT) based developer of waste-based infrastructure projects.

The BioCarbN projects will be separate from three other RNG projects that NW Natural is currently interconnecting to its system. These include the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services’ Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant; the Eugene-Springfield Water Pollution Control Facility; and the Shell New Energies Junction City biomethane facility.

According to the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas, there are 130 RNG facilities operating today in the United States and Canada with 110 more in development or under construction.

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