Delaware Governor Jack A. Markell, DNREC Secretary Collin O'Mara and Croda Inc President Kevin Gallagher broke ground this morning, June 7, to begin construction of a $6 million landfill-gas-to-energy project at the Croda Atlas Point chemical manufacturing plant in New Castle, Del.
The renewable energy endeavor will use landfill gas from the nearby Cherry Island Landfill as fuel to operate Croda's Atlas Point chemical manufacturing plant. The re-claimed landfill gas will provide the plant with enough renewable energy to power 55 percent of the plant's operations. In total, this innovative effort will allow Croda to use renewable energy equivalent to powering 3,500 homes. The venture also will shrink the facility's carbon footprint, reducing its annual greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 33,000 passenger cars from the road.
"This project saves energy costs for a company that has chosen to locate here while putting more people to work," Governor Markell said. "We applaud Croda's investment in Delaware, both environmentally and economically."
Croda is investing $5.5 million in this renewable energy plan as part of its commitment to innovation in sustainable energy. The company also received a $500,000 grant from the Delaware Energy Efficiency Investment Fund (EEIF) Program, administered through DNREC's Division of Energy and Climate.
"Croda should be commended for deploying one of the cleanest and most efficient energy projects in the nation," said Secretary O'Mara. "This project demonstrates innovation and environmental commitment by taking a readily available waste product that previously served no productive purpose -- in this case landfill gas -- and putting it to work making cleaner and more efficient energy while reducing emissions and fossil fuel dependence."
This effort will create 20 construction jobs. Since Croda bought the Atlas Point facility in 2007, the company has spent $55 million in capital investments to build a strong foundation for Croda's continued growth in the U.S.
"This endeavor demonstrates our commitment to innovation in renewable energy; it has the potential to eliminate the electricity Croda takes from the regional grid. In fact, we may even be adding renewable energy back to the grid, if we do not need it on site," said Gallagher. "Croda has a global goal to obtain 25 percent of its energy needs from non-fossil sources by 2015, and we are excited that this venture will help us achieve that goal."
The project is expected to be completed by September 2012. Cummins Power Generation, in partnership with Casella Waste Systems, will deliver the landfill gas via a pipeline from Cherry Island Landfill to Croda at Atlas Point. Cummins Power Generation is furnishing a combined heat and power generation system. Prior to this project, Cherry Island eliminated its waste gas by flaring.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2010, approximately 10 percent of the nation's electricity was generated from renewable sources.