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San Joaquin Renewables secures US$165 million for biomass-to-RNG project

In the United States (US), biomass-to-gas project developer San Joaquin Renewables LLC (SJR) has announced that it reached an agreement with Cresta Fund Management (Cresta) and Silverpeak Energy Partners (Silverpeak) to invest up to US$165 million to develop and construct a biomass to renewable natural gas (RNG) project near McFarland, California (CA).

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San Joaquin Renewables LLC (SJR) has reached an agreement with Cresta Fund Management (Cresta) and Silverpeak Energy Partners (Silverpeak) to invest up to US$165 million to develop and construct a biomass to renewable natural gas (RNG) project near McFarland, California (CA).

When completed, SJR’s RNG facility will replace the current practice of open burning of agricultural waste with an enclosed system that will produce RNG, capture and store the carbon dioxide (CO2), and serve as a substitute to diesel; thereby reducing overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

This project will give California farmers a higher-value outlet for ag waste and will, at the same time, produce super-clean natural gas fuel for the displacement of diesel fuel. We’re excited to be building this plant in McFarland and appreciate the collaborative spirit the city leaders have shown us. The environmental benefits to the local residents and the state of California are real and huge, said T.J. Paskach, President SJR.

Frontline BioEnergy LLC, a leading provider of waste and biomass gasification solutions, is developing the project, which will take orchard residuals and shells from San Joaquin Valley farms and convert them into RNG that will be sold as a transportation fuel.

The project will also sequester the CO2 in an Environment Protection Agency (EPA) Class VI sequestration well located on the project site.

We are pleased to align with the Frontline team to develop the San Joaquin Renewables project. The project has the exciting potential to both mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and improve overall air quality in the San Joaquin Valley. Agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, which are notoriously difficult to mitigate, comprised 10 percent of overall US emissions in 2019. We are glad to contribute to the Frontline team’s efforts to address these emissions, said Chris Rozzell, Managing Partner at Cresta, a Houston, Texas (TX) growth-oriented private equity firm.

Frontline BioEnergy, the project development team, was formed in 2005 to develop, manufacture, and construct biomass and waste gasification technologies.

The San Joaquin Renewables project will be a showcase for Frontline’s advanced gasification technology. The finalization of these agreements will allow us to continue expanding the future of renewable energy technology. We believe this project will serve as a model for many more environmental projects, said Jerod Smeenk, CEO, Frontline BioEnergy.

The management team has extensive gasification experience, with a history of successful development and operations, including its Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company facility that converted biomass waste into fuel gas for an ethanol plant.

We are excited to partner with Frontline and Cresta to build a largescale RNG project in the San Joaquin Valley, which will significantly reduce agricultural greenhouse emissions from the region. The Valley experiences some of the worst air quality in the US, and the project provides a proven solution that is supported by the local community, said Kaushik Amin, a partner at Silverpeak, a New York alternative investment management firm.

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