A French company plans to construct a renewable energy plant in north Mississippi. As MPB's Mark Rigsby reports, the plant will provide natural gas in Tippah County.
Air Liquide will build a biogas purification plant at the Northeast Mississippi Landfill in Walnut. Dan Crouse is the company's senior director for biogas. He says the plant will harness the raw gas coming naturally from the landfill and run it through a membrane filter.
"The biogas that's currently being collected from the landfill, and flared, which is just burned, to destroy the pollutants, will be collected and diverted to our plant. In our plant we will strip out the components, leaving almost pure methane."
Biogas from a landfill is flamable. It's half methane, half carbon dioxide. Currently, It's burned off into the atmosphere. Crouse says the plant will have a great environmental impact.
"Once the plant is up and running, fully half of the gas that today is being burned will be captured. So the CO2 emissions from that methane will no longer be locally emitted."
Matthew Harrison, executive director of the Tippah County Development Foundation, says there will be $25 million of capital investment.
"I tell you, everyone we talked to so far has been ecstatic not only for the opportunity that this is bringing from the jobs perspective in the contruction phase and the capital investment, but to just be able to say we have a first of its kind in this area."
The company will supply biogas locally by connecting to an existing natural gas pipeline in the area. A groundbreaking for the plant is expected early next year.