Business Briefs

News and business announcements from the July issue of Ethanol Producer Magazine, including Aemetis' progress on RNG expansion, Green Plains partnership with Riverence, Navigator signing on Big River and Summit wrapping up its equity raise.
By Ethanol Producer Magazine | June 09, 2022

Aemetis signs RNG agreement with Trillium, continues digester expansion
Aemetis Inc., through its subsidiary Aemetis Biogas Services, has signed a six-year supply agreement with Trillium to provide an estimated 600,000 MMBtu of renewable natural gas (RNG) to be used as transportation fuel in California. The RNG will replace the equivalent of 4.3 million gallons of diesel fuel, primarily used in heavy duty passenger and cargo vehicles.

Aemetis completed Phase 1 of its Central Dairy Digester network in 2020, with two fully operational digesters and four miles of pipeline. The biogas from Phase 1 has been used as process energy at the Aemetis Keyes biorefinery to reduce the facility’s dependency on petroleum-based natural gas and to decrease the carbon intensity of fuel produced there.

Phase 2 of the network consists of a centralized biogas upgrading facility, a utility gas pipeline interconnection unit, 10 dairy digesters and 32 miles of additional pipeline, all planned to be completed later this year. The company plans to establish more than 60 digesters by the end of 2026.

Green Plains announces aquafeed partnership with Riverence
Green Plains Inc. is forming a joint venture with the Riverence Group to expand aquafeed production in Idaho. The venture will produce trout and salmon feeds for Riverence, utilizing ingredients that include the 60 percent-plus fermented protein product recently produced in early runs at Green Plains Wood River.

“This partnership is yet another validation of our transformational path, creating a portfolio of innovative ingredients tailored to meet specific customer needs,” said Todd Becker, president and CEO of Green Plains. “The Riverence Group is a highly respected aquaculture producer and we are eager to realize the value this collaboration brings to both partners. Using our low-carbon ingredients in Riverence’s feeds can help them achieve their goal of using sustainable, domestically produced plant-based ingredients.”

As part of the deal, Green Plains contributed capital and is supplying key ingredient services, while Riverence contributed existing assets and a feed offtake agreement. The joint venture is anticipated to become operational in 2023.

Navigator CO2, Big River announce CCUS agreement
Navigator CO2 Ventures LLC has forged a long-term agreement with Big River Resources LLC and Big River United Energy LLC to provide turnkey carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) services for three Big River ethanol biorefineries located in West Burlington, Iowa; Dyersville, Iowa; and Galva, Illinois. Through the arrangement, Navigator’s planned Heartland Greenway pipeline system will capture, transport and utilize or permanently store CO2 from the plants.

The letter of intent between the companies outlines the key terms of the deal, describing how Navigator will provide “capture-to-end-use” CCUS services, including realization of environmental attributes related to permanent removal of CO2 from the atmosphere—through emissions avoidance—and finding key value optimization opportunities for captured CO2, for an initial term of 20 years and an annual volume of 1 million metric tons of CO2, which is equivalent to offsetting the annual carbon emissions of more than 215,000 vehicles. Start of operations is expected to begin in 2025.

Summit completes $1 billion equity raise, runs radio ad campaign
Summit Carbon Solutions, developer of the world’s largest proposed carbon capture and storage project, successfully completed a $1 billion equity fundraising effort in May. With more than $600 million already raised from prior investors, including Continental Resources Inc. and Tiger Infrastructure Partners, Summit secured commitments of an additional $400-plus million, including $300 million from TPG Rise Climate.

The conclusion of Summit’s fundraise comes on the heels of a recent announcement of its joint venture with Minnkota Power Cooperative, which will provide Summit access to the largest fully permitted carbon dioxide storage site in the United States, located in central North Dakota. There, Summit plans to capture and permanently store up to 20 million tons per year of carbon dioxide from dozens of Upper Midwest ethanol plants and other industrial facilities. 

Also in May, Summit launched a five-state radio ad campaign highlighting the benefits of the company’s proposed CO2  pipeline.