The first municipal biomethanation project in Québec, located in the City of Saint-Hyacinthe, has now entered full service. It will produce about 13 million m3 of renewable natural gas from conversion of organic materials, for transportation fuel and other uses. The process will help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 49,000 tonne-equivalents of carbon dioxide in Québec each year.
Renewable natural gas (RNG) produced by the plant will be injected into the Énergir network. Énergir is a Quebec-based energy company.
This step marks the culmination of an investment project totalling CAD 80 million (USD 64 million), $42.2 million of which comes from the Government of Québec and $11.4 million from the Government of Canada. The City of Saint-Hyacinthe rounded out the financing with a contribution of nearly $27 million.
The biomethanation complex’s full entry into service will make it possible to recycle nearly 200,000 tonnes of organic waste from 25 towns and agrifood businesses in the region, which will lead to an annual emissions reduction of 49,000 tonnes of GHGs.
Under a 2014 framework agreement, the City of Saint-Hyacinthe committed to inject surplus RNG produced at the biomethanation plant beyond that consumed by the City into Énergir’s network for a minimum period of 20 years. The City uses the RNG for heating its municipal buildings and to fuel its fleet of vehicles that run on natural gas.
“Saint-Hyacinthe is proud to be one of the first cities in North America to recycle its organic materials through biomethanation,” said Claude Corbeil, Mayor, Saint-Hyacinthe. “This is a good example of the circular economy, as citizens and local agrifood companies send their organic materials to the biomethanation facility, which turns them into renewable natural gas (RNG). The gas is then used by the City to fuel its fleet of municipal vehicles and to heat its buildings. Surplus RNG is sold to Énergir as an offset that will help improve the services offered to our citizens. For 2018, revenue is projected to be $5.8 million for the entire biomethanation process.”
According to Énegir, formerly GazMatro, by opting for natural gas as a fuel, GHG emissions decrease by more than 99.4%, according to the fuel’s complete life cycle.