Enbridge and Divert Open Renewable Fuel Facility in Washington

Canadian pipeline giant Enbridge Inc. and US food waste management company Divert Inc. have inaugurated their first joint project which will be built under the terms of a US$1 billion infrastructure agreement announced earlier this year.

The two companies are investing approximately US$100 million in the first of what are expected to be several projects across the United States that will convert food waste into non-fossil fuels and renewable energy.

The first facility, for which a groundbreaking ceremony was held Thursday afternoon, will be built in Longview, Wash., and will be the first of its kind in the state. It will accept food wasted by retail food customers, agricultural producers, industrial food manufacturers, restaurants and others and convert it into renewable natural gas, or RNG.

“When we started looking at who we wanted to partner with in this area, Divert really stood out because they kind of have mastered…the diversion of wasted food,” said Caitlin Tessin, vice president of strategy and market innovation at Enbridge.

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“The fact that it doesn’t just go to landfill really drew us to the Divert partnership because it’s not just about decarbonized gas. There’s a really strong social and community benefit to what they’re doing,” said added Ticino.

Enbridge, which bought a 10% stake in Divert earlier this year for US$80 million, is one of many traditional fossil fuel companies investing in RNG as concerns over climate change escalate. intensify.

According to the World Biogas Association, organic waste from food production, food waste, agriculture, landfill and sewage treatment is responsible for around 25% of global methane emissions from human beings, a harmful greenhouse gas.

But it is possible to harness methane from organic waste to create an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional natural gas that can be used for home heating, cooking and even vehicle fuel.

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Divert – which uses a patented “deconditioning” process and anaerobic digestion technology in its facilities – already operates 10 locations in the United States, working with nearly 5,400 retail stores to process more than 2.3 billion pounds of food wasted every year.

Enbridge will help fund the Longview facility and transport fuel produced there to customers in the Washington area through Enbridge’s existing pipeline system.

“RNG is an alternative fuel to traditional gas,” Ticino said, adding that replacing traditional gas with RNG helps reduce Enbridge’s overall carbon footprint.

“It (allows us) to use the billions of dollars of infrastructure we already have.”

The Longview facility is expected to be fully operational in 2024. Enbridge says it will be able to offset up to 23,000 metric tons of CO2 per year, the equivalent of taking 5,000 gas-powered cars off the road each year .

&copy 2023 The Canadian Press

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