Biogas plant planned for Robeson County


ORRUM – GESS International has announced plans to build a $35 million biogas plant on 15 acres in the Robeson County town of Orrum.

A globally established renewable energy service company, GESS expects to begin construction before the end of the year, a news release said. Estimated completion date is the first quarter of 2020.

Upon completion, GESS estimates that the plant will employ up to 16 people. Those hires would include about 10 employees in operations and maintenance positions, with an average salary of $56,000, and the rest in management and engineering. The average salary would be $59,000 for those employees.

The plant is expected to eventually employ about three dozen people.

“Eventually,” the release said, “GESS will convert green and brown biowaste that it purchases from area farmers into energy that helps power the regional grid.”

On an annual basis, the four-anaerobic digester plant is expected to process 172,000 tons of swine waste, 44,000 tons of poultry waste and 70,000 tons of green biomass (or, agricultural residue) for a total of 286,000 tons.

An anaerobic digester is a built system for excluding oxygen from organic material and producing biogas.

“What was once mere waste, GESS is creating a new waste-to-energy revenue stream for farmers,” Seth Daughety of GESS said in the release. “Along this journey, we will pay area farmers for their waste product and provide good jobs. We look forward to being part of the welcoming, can-do Robeson County community and contributing to eastern North Carolina’s bright future.”

Staff writer Michael Futch can be reached at mfutch@fayobserver.com or 910-486-3529.

2018-10-29 04:10