Why is Sussex involved in Bioenergy Devco’s business?

May 4, 2021

I’d like to start by saying that Sussex County’s reliance in poultry industry is undeniable, and we have to find ways to deal with the poultry waste in environmentally sensitive ways, such as capturing of the biogas.

Having said that, I’d like to raise a few questions regarding Bioenergy’s economic viability:

1. Bioenergy says it has been successful in Italy and had built 200+ facilities and manages most of them. My question is where in the small country of Italy, how many big facilities did they build and manage successfully? 

2. In Europe, gas and power rates are much higher than in Delaware (especially with Delaware Electric Co-op), which is again much lower than other parts of the U.S.  The profit margin in Europe is higher than in the U.S. The operations in Europe also seem to be smaller to take care of the regional wastes.

3. Bioenergy Devco is hoping to bring in wastes, not only from all over Delmarva, but also from North Carolina, according to a March 12 article.

If they expect to have only four methane trucks out of the site per day and employing about 50 employees, and bringing in the poultry waste all the way from North Carolina, possibly through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge or Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, how can this be profitable unless the poultry waste producers pay them hefty fees for hauling away their waste? Meanwhile, I see that there is an app to connect the poultry waste producers to the buyers saying that their waste is valuable to these buyers. So, who pays who when the wastes are hauled away?

I’d like to know where Bioenergy’s profit will come from. 

Who pays for all the wear and tear on the roads for all these long-distance trucks - the methane tankers, the waste haulers, etc.?

And, is it feasible for the county to take in 60,000 to 100,000 gallons (the amount depends on which document you read) of wastewater per day? Most of this wastewater is generated from the waste products from other areas brought into Sussex County, especially the Seaford/Blades area that is close to the streams flowing into Chesapeake Bay.  

One more thing:  It is reported that flaring of methane gas causes emissions 80 times more powerful than CO2 per molecule in producing warming. Bioenergy already stated that it plans to flare the gas for up to 900 hours a year. Who monitors the hours? I suspect their request of permission to flare more than allowed would be granted in times of emergency situations.

Does it make economic sense that Sussex County gets involved in Bioenergy Devco’s business?

Eul Lee
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