Waga Energy, a specialist in the production of renewable natural gas (RNG) from landfill gas, and Matrec-GFL, a division of GFL Environmental Inc, have commissioned a RNG production unit at a closed landfill in Chicoutimi (Quebec, Canada). The RNG will be injected into the Énergir grid and will contribute to reaching the decarbonation objectives of the Quebec government.
Operated between 1998 and 2017 by Matrec-GFL, the Chicoutimi landfill received more than 1.6 million tonnes of non-hazardous waste. Although the site is no longer in operation, it will still produce biogas for several years, from the degradation of organic matters landfilled. Thanks to the WAGABOX® technology, developed and patented by Waga Energy, this biogas is now recovered in the form of RNG, a renewable substitute to fossil-based natural gas. This RNG is sold to Énergir, the main natural gas distributor in Quebec, and injected directly into its grid. Waga Energy and Matrec‑GFL contribute to reaching the objective of injecting 10% RNG by 2030 into the Énergir gas grid, as part of the Quebec government’s Plan for a Green economy.
The WAGABOX® unit will produce 16 GWh of RNG per year (54,600,000 MMBtu), corresponding to the gas consumption of around 800 local households, and will avoid the emission of more than 2,500 tons of CO2eq in the atmosphere by substituting fossil-based natural gas in the Énergir grid. Matrec-GFL has granted Waga Energy the right to exploit the biogas from the Chicoutimi landfill for a period of 10 years. Revenue generated by the sale of the RNG will be shared between the two partners.
The project benefited from subsidies of $CAN 7.1 million (€4.85 million) from the Quebec government, including $CAN 3.76 million (€2.6 million) granted to Waga Energy for the construction of the RNG production facility and $3.36 million (€2.3 million) to Énergir to connect the Chicoutimi landfill to its grid. The WAGABOX® unit was built in Quebec, with the support of local contractors, except for the cryogenic distillation module which was manufactured in France.
This is the second WAGABOX® unit commissioned by Waga Energy in Quebec. Two other units are under construction in Canada, one in Cowansville, in the Brome-Missisquoi region (Quebec), and the other in Victoria, in British Columbia; six units are also under construction in the United States.
Julie Flynn, Chair and CEO of the Waga Energy Canadian subsidiary, said, “Together, we will write a new chapter where innovation and commitment combine to shape the RNG trajectory as a pillar of the energy transition, by participating in the development of the local economy while at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Congratulations to the devoted teams who worked with passion and ingenuity to bring this project to life.”
Jean-Philippe Laliberté, Matrec‑GFL SVP of landfill and composting operations – East Canada, commented, “We are proud to collaborate with Waga Energy for the commissioning of a biogas recovery unit at our now-closed landfill site at Chicoutimi. We are promoting a novel initiative to reduce greenhouse gases and produce renewable energy by giving new life to buried waste. Matrec-GFL’s commitment to sustainability is deeply anchored in each of its projects and we are delighted to be the incarnation of responsible management of final waste and to be Green for life.”
Renault Lortie, VP in charge of customers and gas procurement at Énergir, said, “There is no doubt: the RNG sector is more active than ever in Quebec! We are as proud as ever to see new projects here take shape and go into production. This is the case for Waga Energy, at Chicoutimi, which is the 7th project in Quebec to inject RNG into our grid. This is a promising project for Quebec and the result of successful collaboration with our partners Waga Energy and GFL Environmental. Their cutting-edge expertise and their vision are not only changing the shape of the RNG sector, but they also enable us to come closer to our objective of injecting 5% RNG into the gas grid by 2025.”