biogas tanks
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The planned Kent County Bioenergy Facility will include operations to convert organic waste into renewable natural gas and fertilizer.

Continuus Materials, Anaergia to anchor business park

Kent County, Michigan, secures joint venture entity as lead tenant for sustainability-themed business park.

The Kent County, Michigan, Board of Public Works has approved a project development agreement (PDA) with Kent County Bioenergy Facility, a joint venture (JV) between Continuus Materials and Anaergia.

Kent County, which is in southwestern Michigan and includes Grand Rapids as its largest city, says the agreement “is now fully executed.” The two companies partnered on a response to a request for proposals from Kent County for an anchor tenant at its Sustainable Business Park which is planned for 250 acres adjacent to the South Kent Landfill in Byron Center, Michigan.

The PDA is described by the county as the next step in developing “a multi-faceted mixed waste processing facility capable of handling 430,000 tons of municipal solid waste and recyclables each year to produce renewable natural gas, fertilizer and recyclable commodities.

Canada-based Anaergia has what Kent County calls “a proven track record on four continents of turning organic waste into renewable natural gas and fertilizer using high efficiency anaerobic digestion.”

Texas-based Continuus Materials will produce a roof coverboard material, called Everboard, on site from what the county calls “low-value plastics and paper.” The plan calls for other recycling and materials processing companies to locate around the anchor tenant at the park.

“We are excited to take the next step in a public-private partnership to help us achieve our goal of diverting 90 percent of trash from the South Kent Landfill by 2030,” says Emily Brieve, chair of the Kent County Board of Public Works. “Approving the PDA is the culmination of several years of evaluation and due diligence to find the right company that was a good fit for our community with proven technology. Now the real work begins to nail down costs, schedules and site plans.”

The PDA will guide the DPW and Kent County Bioenergy Facility over the next 18 to 36 months until the project can be fully contracted and financed, says the county. “If all goes as planned, the facility could be up and running in about three years,” according to Kent County.

That plan currently calls for Kent County to make a $70 million investment through a bond that would be repaid by tipping fees and shared revenue from materials produced at the park. The Kent County Bioenergy Facility JV would invest an estimated $280 million and operate the facility.

The State of Michigan recently allocated $4 million in its 2021-22 budget toward an estimated $19 million of intended site preparation and infrastructure work.