By Jay Zwierschke, President and CEO, Matter Global Solutions Inc.
Canada is a country rich in natural resources; our exploration and energy sectors are cutting edge, with our industry leaders ranking among some of the world’s most innovative and successful companies. With global initiatives and the current ambitious mandates to develop climate change and circular economy technologies, Canadian businesses are in a unique position to accelerate the shift and build on our strengths.
We have seen the markets go through transitions, such as the electrical power industry, as wind and solar have journeyed through the development and alternative stages to their current highly competitive state, where clean energy leads the way compared to fossil-based fuels. The next big mover is biomass as a renewable, low-carbon feedstock to bring about the cleantech’s subsequent transformation. Biomass has an extensive range and broad in its applications and source, with unique and unconventional advantages from existing resources. Biomass can supply energy, particularly renewable natural gas (“RNG”) based on market drivers, green chemicals and fuels, hydrogen and have a significant impact on reducing the effects of greenhouse gases on our environment. Biomass includes organic waste, agricultural waste (manure, crop residues), energy crops, forestry waste, and by-products from industry and commercial activities all have tremendous value and carbon reduction capabilities.
RNG and hydrogen’s growth drivers are coming from government policies, technology companies, stakeholder groups, and a portion of the industry, creating a pathway for a dynamic, new source of clean energy. FortisBC is leading the North American market regarding RNG with an ambitious open market approach and desirable long-term contracts to secure market share. Additionally, Quebec is chasing the Canadian RNG market with similar contract offerings and mandates to green their pipelines and provide low-carbon options. California and many other states are using a credit approach to procure RNG, creating an active spot market scenario and increasing the need for extensive supply. FortisBC has already exceeded its goal of 5% RNG of its distribution capacity and is now focused on a 15% objective, a significant initiative that is driving RNG growth in Canada.
Matter Global Solutions Inc. (“Matter”) is a waste conversion technology company with a focus on anaerobic digestion (“AD”) and advanced gasification to RNG and hydrogen as an essential platform to drive the circular economy and reduce the release of carbon into our atmosphere. Matter has developed a first-of-its-kind project in Clayhurst, BC (near Fort St. John) using its partner technology OWS, from Belgium. Matter and OWS have designed and planned the implementation of a dry digester to produce over 250,000 GJ’s of RNG under contract to FortisBC, with British Columbia Utility Commission approval in place. This project is an excellent example of circular economy mandates utilizing agricultural wastes, crop management applications, and organic fertilizer (digestate) utilization. Nothing goes to waste, and the process is focused on renewable resources and new applications that will reduce the impact of climate change. Additional projects are being developed in BC to meet the growing need for RNG and repurpose waste biomass utilizing proprietary advanced gasification developed by Matter. Matters gasification technology will focus on converting forestry waste into syngas, a process gas composition of hydrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide that can be additionally converted into pipeline quality methane or hydrogen with Woods’, Vesta’s methanation system. The platform of anaerobic digestion and gasification is a synergistic approach to redirecting biomass into a circular economy strategy and supplying the market with extensive clean energy.
Matters aims to create a new paradigm for change; as mentioned earlier in this article, Canada has been a leader in traditional energy development. We now have the opportunity and the mandate to redefine an industry. With the high growth potential and significant use of RNG from AD and gasification, Matter is focused on options such as BC, Alberta, and Ontario as growth markets for RNG and hydrogen.
According to Sir Richard Branson, “For the circular economy to thrive, every day needs to be Earth Day.” The Matter team will utilize advanced conversion technologies and collaborate with Scovan Engineering to rapidly embrace this challenge. Matter has allocated its resources to develop projects and the best available technologies for economic and environmental performance while aligning with Scovan Engineering’s design and construction expertise to provide the projects that exceed investment and performance goals.
Originally published in Scovan’s IGNITE Vol. 2