$1B plan to scale anaerobic digestion across the US
Divert, a US-based organics recycling operator, and Enbridge, a multinational energy infrastructure company headquartered in Canada, have announced a partnership to accelerate the deployment of anaerobic digestion (AD) technology and renewable natural gas (RNG) production across North America.
Details of the deal
Under the terms of the partnership, Enbridge will invest $1 billion in new anaerobic digestion facilities to convert organic waste into RNG (also known as biomethane or biogas). With the investment, Divert’s AD facilities will be able to reach ‘every major geographic region’ in the US, with a goal of being ‘within 100 miles of 80 per cent of the U.S. population in the next eight years’. Divert will manage and operate the facilities that Enbridge finances. Enbridge has also agreed to invest $45 million in Divert, acquiring a minority equity stake in the company.
The investment will allow Divert to expand its anaerobic digestion network to reach more customers across the US and Canada, by building new AD facilities and upgrading existing ones. Divert plans to use the investment to increase its RNG production capacity by more than 300 per cent from the current level, supplementing its existing portfolio of ten AD plants with an additional 30 new sites – each with the capacity to process up to 100,000 tons of material per year.
Opportunities for biomethane
RNG, or biomethane, is produced naturally from organic waste, and – as it has similar properties to fossil natural gas – it can be injected directly into the national gas grid, to be used for the same purpose as fossil natural gas, such as heating, cooking and transportation.
Demand for RNG in the US has grown in recent years due to ESG investment trends as well as regulatory incentives. Caitlin Tessin, vice president of strategy and market innovation at Enbridge, said that the partnership with Divert aligns with Enbridge’s priorities in pioneering RNG as an effective solution to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
The Divert-Enbridge deal has the potential to make a significant impact on the reduction of food waste and greenhouse gas emissions in the US. Combined with Divert’s experience in organics recycling, Enbridge’s investment – alongside its expertise in energy infrastructure – has the potential to accelerate the adoption of anaerobic digestion technology as a sustainable solution for organic waste management and energy production.