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Aemetis completes 20 miles of biogas pipeline 

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Aemetis, a renewable natural gas and renewable fuels company focused on below zero carbon intensity products, has announced the completion of 20 miles of biogas pipeline and approval for construction of the remaining biogas pipeline in Merced County, California.

 Construction of the 39-mile main biogas pipeline is on schedule for completion in Q4 2022.

“Issuance of the Phase Two Pipeline permit and construction of the main pipeline in Merced County is a very significant milestone for the Aemetis Biogas RNG project,” said Andy Foster, president of Aemetis Biogas. 

“California and Merced County recognise that the adoption of dairy biogas as a negative carbon intensity fuel to replace diesel in heavy trucks and buses is essential if we are to make strides to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions. Aemetis continues to rapidly deploy the infrastructure necessary to connect our network of dairy digesters and increase the production of carbon negative dairy renewable natural gas.”

This project milestone allows the installation of biogas pipeline in Merced County for construction of a pipeline for a total of 39 miles from the Aemetis ethanol plant in Keyes, California to dairies in Stanislaus County and Merced counties. The pressurised pipeline conveys conditioned, pressurised biogas from dairies to the company’s centralised gas clean-up facility and the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) interconnection system to inject renewable natural gas (RNG) into the gas utility pipeline.

At the Keyes plant, the biogas is upgraded to negative carbon intensity RNG for use as a transportation fuel in cars, trucks, and buses. The RNG is either delivered into the PG&E utility pipeline located onsite at the Aemetis ethanol plant, dispensed to trucks at fuelling stations across California or at the RNG fuelling station being built at the Aemetis plant.

Previously, Aemetis announced that it received approval for the biogas pipeline from the Merced County Board of Supervisors for the Phase Two pipeline, as well as an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) for the entire pipeline project, the key approval necessary to meet the permitting requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) prior to pipeline construction. 

The CEQA approval confirms that mitigation measures in the biogas project will avoid or mitigate any impacts on the eThe Company completed the permitting for 20 miles of biogas pipeline in Stanislaus County in August 2021 to connect dairies to the Aemetis biogas clean-up facility at the ethanol facility. The initial four-mile Phase 1 pipeline project was completed and commissioned in the third quarter of 2020 in conjunction with the completion of the company’s first two dairy digesters, and the 20 miles of Stanislaus County pipeline has now been completed. Additional pipeline will be added to connect digesters to the main biogas pipeline.

Once complete, the Aemetis biogas digesters and clean-up facility will produce more than 1.65 million MMBtu of RNG each year. Aemetis received a negative -426 Carbon Intensity pathway for biogas from the company’s first two dairy digesters, which is currently being utilised as process energy at the ethanol facility.

When built, the system will eliminate emissions from approximately 1 million vehicles per year and eliminate about 5 million tonnes of CO2 per year. The pipeline project and the $12 million biogas clean-up facility are funded in part by a $4.2 million grant from the California Energy Commission.