Officials at HDS International Corp., a renewable energy, waste management and eco-sustainability company, announce that, through the company's wholly-owned Canadian subsidiary HDS Energy & Ecosystems NB Ltd., it has entered into a seven year exclusivity agreement with the City of Saint John, NB, Canada for the installation of an anaerobic digester waste-to-energy system.
Having identified the City's "Lancaster" Wastewater Treatment Facility through more than a year of discussions with the city as an attractive potential location capable of supporting up to 5MW electric power, HDS will lead a feasibility study for Lancaster with support from the city. The study will gather information to produce detailed budgetary data, define milestones and optimize the structure and risk/return profile fitting the project's various constituents.
Tassos Recachinas, HDS' president and CEO, says, "Today's announcement represents a pivotal milestone for HDS, and I couldn't be happier than I am in announcing a partner in Saint John. The potential synergies between HDS' leading proprietary intellectual property combined with the abundant economic potential of a thriving industrial center, plus the attractive geological and environmental characteristics of Saint John, make for limitless long-term possibilities."
The envisioned Lancaster digester will draw biosolids and sludge directly from raw wastewater, prior to entry into Lancaster's treatment lagoon. This biowaste, along with other biodegradable materials, will be processed by the digester, producing biogas, energy and other byproducts that will be marketed and sold to generate revenue. The digester will also reduce the city's operating costs while increasing facility capacity and delivering significant benefits to the environment.
Unlike any other digester, the project at Lancaster will incorporate HDS' breakthrough CO2 capture and reutilization technologies, unlocking substantial opportunities for value creation incremental to those in classical digestion. The feasibility study will incorporate the possibility of removing CO2 from pre-combustion biogas, enabling the compression of biogas; controlled-environment algae biomass production in the Lancaster lagoon utilizing wastewater nutrients and recycled CO2; and supplementing digester biomaterial with algae to boost biogas production.
By leading a partnered design, build, operate, and maintain project, HDS stands to create value for its shareholders through economic participation in the project, which will be anchored by proven digester technologies. By design, the presence of baseline cash flows from digestion will significantly mitigate commercialization hurdles in the overlay of innovative IP.
According to the American Biogas Council, there are almost one million digesters in operation globally today, with the market positioned to support outsized ongoing growth rates. In the United States, there are 191 digesters on farms, despite a population of more than 65,000 dairy farms, with other types of farms also able to benefit from digesters. In the wastewater sector, 1,500 digesters operate at wastewater treatment plants, of which 250 use biogas and 1,250 flare it. By comparison, there are over 17,000 wastewater treatment plants. At Saint John, HDS intends to demonstrate that its technologies can improve efficiency, reduce costs and generate additional sources of revenue for digesters, effectively lowering the threshold at which digesters become economically viable for the owner/operator and increasing the addressable market exponentially.
Under the terms of the agreement, HDS' has received exclusive rights to any digester project involving the city's municipal infrastructure for a period of seven years. Saint John will assist HDS during the study by contributing staff support and through other internal means. The city has also agreed to team on grant applications identified by HDS. HDS will be responsible for any out-of-pocket costs incurred during the study. The potential system is viewed as being aligned with the City's planning and sustainability goals, and was executed by the mayor and common clerk following a resolution by Common Council.