Regional district expanding landfill gas capture system

The Regional District of Fraser-Fort George will be expanding the landfill gas collection system at the Foothills Boulevard Regional Landfill.

On March 19, the district board of directors approved a $195,000 contract to expand the current system by an additional 300 metres of pipe and add a two-way clean-out.

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"Extending the main landfill gas header will complete the landfill gas main header installation by connecting both ends of the existing landfill gas main header collection pipe," a report by district staff to the board said. "This project will increase the overall collection efficiency of the existing current landfill gas system and assist in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the landfill site."

The breakdown of organic material in landfills by bacteria produces a mix of gasses, with methane and carbon dioxide being the main components. Methane is a highly-potent greenhouse gas, having about 25 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide on a molecule-for-molecule basis.

Last year, the regional district signed a tentative agreement to sell landfill gas to FortisBC, which would be purified and injected into Fortis' natural gas network.

Under the deal, FortisBC would build and operate an approximately $8.5 million processing plant at the landfill. FortisBC would pay the regional district $75,000 to $145,000 per year for 75,000 to 125,000 gigagoules of gas per year.

"That's working through the (B.C. Utilities Commission) process right now," district chairman Art Kaehn said.

The deal includes a base rate of $1.25 per gigagoule to cover the district's costs with annual increases to account for inflation. 

FortisBC is working to reach a provincially-mandated goal of securing 15 per cent of its supply from renewable sources by 2030. Diverting gas from the Foothills landfill into the FortisBC system would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3,500 to 5,700 tonnes per year, according to the company.

FortisBC plans to have the plant up and running by December.

— With files from Mark Nielsen

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