Republic Services Inc. and Houston-based Archaea Energy, the renewable natural gas ("RNG") producer in the U.S., announced on May 5 a joint venture to develop 39 RNG projects across the country. The partnership, the country's largest RNG portfolio build-out to date, will convert landfill gas into pipeline-quality RNG that can be used for a variety of applications to displace gas from fossil fuels. The initiative is expected to generate substantial progress towards Republic's long-term sustainability goal to beneficially reuse 50% more biogas by 2030.
"Sustainability is a platform for growth at Republic, and our continued investment in landfill gas-to-energy projects delivers meaningful environmental and economic benefits to our stakeholders," Jon Vander Ark, Republic Services president and CEO, said in a statement.
He continued, "Market demand for renewable natural gas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is growing significantly, and providing additional sources of RNG furthers Republic's ambitious sustainability goals, while also helping customers and communities meet their own climate action goals."
Archaea Energy will develop, engineer, construct and operate the RNG facilities, which will be located at Republic Services' landfills in 19 states. Construction is slated to begin on projects in late 2022, with completion and commissioning of the projects planned through 2027. When fully operational, the 39 projects are expected to generate more than 12.5 million MMBtu of RNG annually. The joint venture has signed a gas sale agreement with Republic to provide for the long-term ability to process landfill gas and sell RNG and related environmental attributes.
Archaea Energy will contribute approximately $800 million, and Republic will contribute approximately $300 million for total investment of approximately $1.1 billion into the joint venture over the course of five years.
"We are honored to have been selected as Republic's partner for this monumental joint venture, which is the beginning of a renewable energy platform that will become a critical component of Archaea's mission to achieve best-in-class environmental stewardship and greenhouse gas emissions reductions," said Nick Stork, Archaea's co-founder and CEO.
"We are focused on long-term, value-oriented capital investments that make a meaningful sustainability impact for future generations," he added.
As a low-carbon fuel, RNG displaces a meaningful amount of greenhouse gas emissions and is increasingly being recognized as a near-term climate strategy to lower the carbon footprint of existing energy assets. Decarbonization efforts are expected to propel demand for RNG, with landfill gas providing greater scale and predictability than other sources for reliable renewable energy production.
The strategic partnership with Archaea Energy is expected to expand Republic Services' renewable energy portfolio to more than 100 projects. It builds on a growing slate of environmental commitments by Republic, including fleet electrification and investments in plastics circularity, to create a more sustainable world.
Moelis & Company LLC is serving as exclusive financial advisor to Republic Services, and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP and Katz Barron are serving as Republic Services' legal counsel.
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