Meat processing giant Tyson Foods partners NW Natural, BioCarbN to convert methane into renewable natural gas

US Tyson Foods, the world’s second largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork has entered into a partnership with NW Natural and BioCarbN that will see methane from some of its facilities converted into renewable natural gas (RNG).

RNG is produced from organic materials like agricultural and forestry by-products, food waste, wastewater, or landfills, and is a unique and valuable form of renewable energy.

 It combines similar emission reduction benefits of traditional, intermittent renewables such as wind and solar, with the reliability and seasonal storage capabilities of natural gas.

RNG does all these while capturing, cleaning and utilizing organic material that would otherwise contribute carbon to the atmosphere.

The RNG gas processed from these facilities will then be used as a source of heat for both homes and business across the United States.

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 water treatment at Tyson Foods’ processing plants.

In December, NW Natural exercised its option for the first development project in Nebraska, 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 each year – enough RNG to provide heat for about 18,000 homes that NW Natural serves in Oregon.

“Our vision is to champion innovative policies and new technologies to provide a substantial climate benefit for our customers,” said David H. Anderson, NW Natural president and CEO.

“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.”

The Tyson Food project is NW Natural’s first investment under the landmark new state RNG law, which supports renewable energy procurement and investment by natural gas utilities.

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

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