Global developer partnering with Perdue for fertilizer processing facility

SEAFORD – Change in production and ownership is on the way at the Perdue AgriRecycle organic soil composting facility near Seaford.

Bioenergy DevCo, a global developer of anaerobic digestion facilities that create renewable energy and soil products from organic material, recently announced it has entered a 20-year partnership with Perdue Farms for the supply of organic material from Perdue processing facilities, as well as the purchase and management of the organic commercial fertilizer processing facility south of Blades.

Perdue Farms CEO Randy Day sees it as a change for the better.

“Our commitment to environmental stewardship is stronger than ever. We see this partnership as an opportunity to further expand on the work we’ve done so far,” said Mr. Day. “With Bioenergy, we have found a partner that enables us to be more sustainable, create cost savings, and help produce renewable energy while continuing to address soil health and nutrient management in the environmentally sensitive Chesapeake Bay watershed.”

Perdue AgriRecycle in July 2001 began manufacturing organic commercial fertilizer from raw poultry liter produced by the region’s broiler industry.

The AgriRecycle facility is currently permitted to compost 30,000 tons of poultry processing and hatchery byproducts from poultry operations, and poultry litter from poultry farms located on the Delmarva Peninsula, according to Bioenergy DevCo’s news release.

Under the terms of the agreement with Perdue Farms, BDC will purchase the existing composting facility and operate it while working within the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and Sussex County permits process to construct an anaerobic digester at the site.

The anaerobic digestion process will transition the poultry processing byproducts to both renewable natural gas and an organic soil amendment while continuing to support the compost facility.

“Our mission is to make sure anaerobic digestion becomes the de facto solution for managing organic material in the United States, and the Perdue AgriRecycle facility, which is already composting at a large scale, is the perfect venue to showcase the potential for this technology,” said Shawn Kreloff, founder and CEO of BDC.

“The use of anaerobic digestion, combined with enhanced composting of organic material, reinforces Perdue’s ongoing commitment to driving economic development in the region and adopting innovative solutions that are good for the environment and the bottom line.”

With permitting from DNREC, Bioenergy hopes to be in operation within a year, according to information provided from Bioenergy DevCo by Kirsten Maynard, manager director of Waxman Strategies.

“Once these permits have been granted, Bioenergy DevCo can likely have its anaerobic digestion facility up and running within a year,” the statement from Ms. Maynard stated.

Since Bioenergy DevCo is in the midst of this transition, the company cannot disclose any specific dollar figures, according to information from Bioenergy.

BDC’s proposed anaerobic digestion facility will be capable of processing a range of organic material from local poultry farmers and processors, including Dissolved Air Flotation, hatchery byproducts and poultry litter.

In addition to the production of truly renewable natural gas, officials say the AD process creates a virtually odor-free digestate, a natural soil amendment considered a Class A compost that will be used to enhance the site’s existing compost production.

Working hand in hand, compost and AD technologies bring environmental benefits to the poultry industry and its byproducts and will produce a reliable supply of clean, renewable natural gas – a highly sought-after resource valued by utilities, communities and companies.

“We believe the relationship between Perdue and BDC offers a large-scale opportunity to create a truly consistent source of clean, renewable natural gas in a sustainable way that will benefit the industry and the environment for years to come,” said BDC’s Shawn Kreloff.

“The ability to finance, design, build and operate a facility like AgriRecycle that includes both AD and compost options for managing organic material makes BDC an essential asset not only to Perdue but the poultry industry and the communities on Delmarva where it does business.”

Anaerobic Digestion offers an alternative to traditional methods of waste management that release harmful greenhouse gases or pollute natural environments.

Anaerobic digesters use a natural process driven by microorganisms to biodegrade organic materials in a closed system, which naturally transforms organics to create renewable natural gas, as well as an organic soil amendment digestate, which is high in nutrients.

Based in Howard County, Maryland, Bioenergy DevCo, through its wholly owned subsidiary BTS Biogas, owns, operates and maintains more than 220 facilities in countries around the world, including Italy, France, Japan and the United Kingdom.

In the United States, Bioenergy DevCo is currently developing and constructing an anaerobic digester to be co-located with the Maryland Food Center Authority, servicing one of the largest food terminals on the East Coast. This facility, in Howard County, will process 100,000 tons of food waste per year and produce an estimated 250,000m Mmbtus (Mmbtu stands for one million British Thermal Units) of truly renewable natural gas.

Alongside the Perdue AgriRecycle facility and the Maryland Food Center Authority, Bioenergy DevCo has three other projects in permitting and development. This number will continue to grow in 2020, according to Bioenergy.