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Kiewit, CleanBay Renewables partner on chicken litter AD plant

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US-based Enviro-tech company CleanBay Renewables has partnered with Kiewit Corporation, a major engineering and construction firm.

Through the partnership, Kiewit will design, engineer and build CleanBay’s Westover bio-refinery, which will recycle more than 150,000 tons of chicken litter annually using anaerobic digestion (AD) to create renewable natural gas (RNG).

Without processing, chicken litter releases nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas with 300 times the impact of carbon dioxide. Litter can also produce nitrogen and phosphorous runoff, which leads to algae blooms that pollute waterways and create ‘dead zones’.

Kiewit has more than 130 years of experience and has delivered complex projects in a range of industries, including wastewater treatment plants, power plants, and AD facilities. Brad Kaufman, senior vice-president of Kiewit Corporation, said: “We commend CleanBay on its commitment to innovation and the environment along with its dedication in bringing the first utility-scale AD plant focused on agricultural feedstock to Maryland.

“Our construction and engineering approach includes a relentless focus on safety and fully leverages our team’s expansive experience and expertise. We look forward to delivering this first-of-its-kind facility.”

Thomas Spangler, CleanBay’s executive chairman, commented: “The partnership with Kiewit brings CleanBay’s vision of a sustainable economic model to produce energy, process waste and return controlled-release nutrients to croplands for food production, one step closer to reality.

“Kiewit’s environmental stewardship, ‘safety-first’ approach and vast expertise will ensure that our facility is designed for safe operations and meets or exceeds all performance requirements.”

Our process goes beyond recycling waste and reducing pollution,” said Donal Buckley, CleanBay’s CEO. “By also creating a controlled-release fertiliser containing humic acid, we’re improving soil health and helping farmers increase production to meet the ever-increasing demand for food.”

Site preparation for the Westover bio-refinery, which includes a $200 million (€169 million) capital investment by CleanBay,  is now underway, with construction scheduled to begin later this year.