The Aemetis Biogas Central Dairy RNG Project is now fully funded to build biogas digesters and related assets for eight additional dairies using the $9.4 million of equity financing already provided by Aemetis and the $25 million of new debt financing guaranteed by the USDA. Magnolia Bank of Elizabethtown, Kentucky provided the primary funding for the $25 million loan to Aemetis Biogas 2, LLC (AB-2), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aemetis, Inc.
“The USDA Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) provides long term, 20-year financing that enables the construction of projects that improve air quality and reduce carbon pollution such as the Aemetis Biogas Central Dairy Digester Project,” stated Eric McAfee, Chairman and CEO of Aemetis. “We appreciate the good working relationship that has been developed with the team at Greater Commercial Lending and we are pleased to have Magnolia Bank as the new primary lender for the AB-2 phase of the project.”
Aemetis Biogas has built and is fully operating dairy biogas digesters for seven dairies, a 40-mile biogas pipeline, the central biogas-to-RNG production facility and the PG&E gas utility interconnection unit. When completed, the biogas digesters for the combined 15 dairies are designed to produce more than 400,000 MMBtu’s per year of carbon negative renewable natural gas.
The long-term, 20-year project financing was guaranteed by the USDA through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and carries approximately an 8.75% fixed interest rate for the first five years. With two REAP loans closed and three more REAP loans in process, Aemetis Biogas is currently arranging $125 million of 20-year debt funding for the development, construction and operation of the Aemetis Central Dairy Digester project which has already signed 37 dairies and plans to build digesters for 65 dairies within the next 60 months.
Aemetis Biogas is building passive solar anaerobic digesters at dairies to capture biomethane from animal waste. After removal of key contaminants and gas pressurization at the dairy, a biogas pipeline connects the dairies to a central facility located at the Keyes ethanol plant where the biogas is converted into below zero carbon intensity RNG. The RNG is tested and odorized in an interconnection unit, then injected into the Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) gas pipeline for delivery to transportation fuel customers throughout California. In addition to delivery of RNG through third parties, Aemetis is building an onsite RNG fueling station to fuel local trucks.
About 25% of the methane emissions in California are emitted from dairy waste lagoons. When fully built, the Aemetis biogas project plans to connect dairy digesters spanning more than 65 dairy farms, producing more than 1,650,000 MMBtu of renewable natural gas from captured dairy methane each year. The project is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to an estimated 6.8 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide over ten years, equal to removing the emissions from approximately 150,000 cars per year.