RNG produced in Rhode Island will contribute to decarbonisation at Irving Oil's Saint John refinery. [Image credit: Irving Oil]

By Dale Lunan

US renewable natural gas (RNG) supplier Anaergia said January 18 it had entered into a partnership with Canada’s Irving Oil to supply as much as 350mn ft3/year of RNG to Irving’s Saint John, New Brunswick refinery, the largest in Canada.

The RNG will be produced at Anaergia’s Rhode Island Bioenergy Facility, which converts more than 100,000 tons/year of food waste and other organic wastes that would otherwise be landfilled into RNG, which is then delivered into a regional pipeline network, reducing the need for conventional natural gas to meet Irving Oil’s requirements at its refinery and in its delivered natural gas (DNG) operations.

The refiner has been offering its DNG service to customers for the past eight years, compressing natural gas from three compressed natural gas (CNG) facilities in Atlantic Canada and delivering it overland to customers to displace diesel, propane and fuel oil in a wide range of energy, mining, forestry and utility settings.

“We are proud to continue advancing on our energy transition journey through this new partnership where waste will be diverted from the landfill and converted to renewable natural gas for use in our operations, including at our Saint John refinery,” Irving Oil president Ian Whitcomb said. “We are making strides in achieving our 2030 goal of a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as we shift to lower carbon energies.”

The RNG from Anaergia’s Rhode Island facility is recognised as carbon-negative, since it captures more methane emissions than the organic waste would have created if landfilled. On this basis, the facility prevents the release of more than 40,000 metric tonnes/year of greenhouse gas emissions.

“Methane emissions from landfills are a big contributor to global warming,” Anaergia CEO Andrew Benedek said. “The state of Rhode Island is doing something to solve this problem, while also addressing New England’s waste disposal needs. Likewise, Irving Oil is recognising the value of using what people throw away every day to create a renewable fuel.”