B.C. company aims to be major Canadian renewable natural gas producer
By Nelson Bennett | August 4, 2021, 2:29pm
Former Macquarie Capital director Chase Edgelow co-founded the new RNG development company | Chung Chow
EverGen began listing today on the TSX Venture exchange, following a $20 million initial public offering. At close of markets today, its stock was trading at $5.89 per share.
Listed under the symbol EVGN, the company has to date raised $65 million. It had recently raised $47 million in equity and debt to finance the acquisition of three composting plants, one of which produces biogas from agricultural waste.
FortisBC has signed a 20-year contract with EverGen to buy up to 173,000 gigajoules of renewable natural gas (RNG) annually for injection into its natural gas system.
While he said the company expects to have other customers, EverGen CEO Chase Edgelow said FortisBC will likely remain one of its biggest customers.
In a press release on today’s IPO, the company said it plans to acquire or build RNG plants in other provinces, including Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.Going public will make it easier to finance that expansion, Edgelow said.
"Building a company in the public markets is something that we thought was well-suited and will allow us to expedite our growth," Edgelow told BIV News. "We see a number of consolidation opportunities where we can acquire other complimentary assets."
The company notes that only 13% of the available biogas in Canada is currently captured and used. Biogas is methane from animal and-or plant waste, and can be captured or made -- using digesters – from landfills, sewage, dairy farms and compost.
RNG’s chemical composition is no different from fossil-fuel natural gas. Both are methane, and both produce carbon dioxide when burned. Unlike natural gas, however, RNG is renewable, since it is made from organic waste. More importantly, it’s not just carbon neutral, but carbon negative.
That’s because it captures or produces methane that would otherwise eventually be released into the atmosphere through organic decomposition. Because methane is magnitudes worse than CO2 in its global warming potential, burning it, which produces CO2, is a net benefit, especially if it displaces non-renewable natural gas.