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SJI Partners in Large Food Waste-to-RNG Facility

South Jersey Industries (SJI), Captona, and RNG Energy Solutions have announced a partnership to construct one of the largest food waste-to-renewable natural gas (RNG) projects in the United States. The Linden Renewable Energy (LRE) Project will convert organic waste into pipeline-quality RNG that can be used for a variety of applications to displace fossil fuels.

This marks SJI’s first non-utility led anaerobic digester project that will directly connect its utility customers with a New Jersey-based RNG producer. Elizabethtown Gas, one of SJI’s primary utility subsidiaries, will blend the RNG from the project into its existing natural gas distribution system.

The LRE Project will accept a wide range of feedstock, including food waste from industrial, commercial, and institutional entities, as well as grease waste from restaurants and other food service establishments. Anaerobic digestion is a natural process that breaks down waste in the absence of oxygen to produce natural gas and a nutrient-rich material that can be used as fertilizer.

As a result, the LRE Project will convert up to 1,475 tons of waste to produce up to 3,783MMBtu/day of RNG—this is the energy equivalent value of 30,200 gallons of gasoline per day. The LRE Project includes development and construction of multiple off-site food waste pre-processing and depackaging operations in New York City, New York State and New Jersey.

“SJI is thrilled to continue its commitment to decarbonization and RNG by investing in the Linden Renewable Energy facility. It’s a triple win for us—it repurposes food waste, generates renewable energy that our customers can benefit from, and bolsters our commitment to environmental stewardship,” said SJI President and CEO, Mike Renna. “Through this flagship project, we’re actively contributing to a more sustainable, energy-efficient future for both our state and the environment.”

“Captona recognizes this marquee investment in this food waste-to RNG plant in New York City and the New Jersey area as a major milestone in the growth of its Energy Transition Infrastructure portfolio of Fuel Cell, RNG, Solar and Storage projects” said Captona’s Founder and CEO, Izzet Bensusan. “This project will greatly contribute to reducing emissions and upcycling food waste.”

LRE has partnered with Phoenix Power Group as the engineering, procurement and construction provider. It has also aligned with multiple waste haulers in New York City and New Jersey that will provide source-separated waste as part of their compliance with New York City and New Jersey organic waste diversion requirements.

“The City of Linden has been a proud host community for the project,” said Linden Mayor Derek Armstead. “This is another in a long list of renewable energy projects that the city has undertaken. We have supported the LRE Project throughout the planning phase and we definitely appreciate the investment in our city and the hundreds of union construction jobs that come with it. This is a long-term renewable and sustainable solution to waste management, and we look forward to our continued association with the Project and its sponsors.”

“The LRE Project will provide a sustainable and competitive waste management service within a 40-mile metro region with over 18 million residents. The same region has implemented aggressive organic waste diversion regulations that need a sustainable anaerobic digestion project solution,” said James Potter, President of RNG Energy Solutions. “We are not aware of any project site within this proximity to NYC that affords the superior capacity to receive barges combined with close proximity to the I-95 transportation corridor. These optimized transportation logistics make the project the preferred low carbon and low-cost provider of organic waste management services.”

A consortium of lenders led by Investec Bank plc raised project financing debt to support the construction and operation of the plant.

The project will begin construction this month with a target completion date of Q1 2026.

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