Indiana County Welcomes Air Liquide Renewable Natural Gas Plant to Center Township

In collaboration with Senator Joe Pittman, Representative Jim Struzzi, County Commissioners, R. Michael Keith, Robin Gorman, and Sherene Hess, the Indiana County Development Corporation is pleased to welcome Air Liquide Advanced Technologies U.S. LLC to the 119 Business Park – Lot 2, located in Center Township, Indiana County, PA for the development of a renewable natural gas (RNG) production plant. RNG, also known as biomethane, is produced through the processing and purification of biogas and interchangeable with conventional natural gas. Air Liquide has signed an interconnection agreement with Peoples Natural Gas to inject RNG produced at the plant into its pipeline system for delivery to residential and commercial customers.
Biogas is a type of gas produced by the decomposition of organic biomass including agricultural and household waste through a process called anaerobic digestion, which occurs in an oxygen-free environment. Biogas is primarily composed of methane and carbon dioxide and a greenhouse gas when emitted into the atmosphere.

The plant will receive dairy waste (cow manure) from approximately 18 – 20 partnering farmers who will receive a quarterly cash payment for the value they help create for the project. To produce
biogas, the waste must be pumped into airtight containers called anaerobic digesters to protect it from oxygen. The decomposition process occurring inside the sealed environment creates biogas, which is then purified into RNG within the plant’s closed system. In addition to generating revenue, participating farmers will benefit from improved waste management
and significant cost savings. The treated solids will be returned to the farmers as cow bedding and liquids will be returned as fertilizer for their crops.

A world leader in gases, technologies and services for Industry and Health, Air Liquide is present in 73 countries with approximately 67,100 employees and serves more than 3.9 million customers and patients. Air Liquide employs more than 20,000 people in the U.S. at nearly 1,400 locations and plant facilities, including sites in Monroeville, Upper Mount Bethel and Radnor. Air Liquide has developed competencies throughout the whole RNG value chain, from biogas production from waste, to its purification into biomethane, liquefaction, storage, and transportation to distribution.1
“We are pleased to be part of the Center Township community and grateful for the support we have received from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Indiana County. This project would not have been possible without the collaborative efforts of Senator Pittman, Representative Struzzi, the Indiana County Commissioners, Center Township Supervisors, the Homer-Center School District, the Indiana County Development Corporation, and the dairy farmers who have been instrumental in helping us reach this point. We are committed to the long-term growth of Indiana County and look forward to taking an active role in the development of the community for many years to come”, stated Nathan Fryer, Plant Manager, Air Liquide Center Township Operations.
In order to prepare the 119 Business Park site for development, two State grants have been secured with the assistance of Senator Joe Pittman and Representative Jim Struzzi, and awarded to the Indiana County Commissioners on behalf of the Indiana County Development Corporation through the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) for a $1,491,402 Pipeline Investment Program (PIPE) grant to extend a natural gas pipeline to the 119 Business Park in Center Township. The project involves the installation of approximately 4,100 feet of pipeline from the Peoples regulation station north of Neal Road to the business park.

“This grant funding will create an economic development opportunity which supports our agricultural community, creates jobs and adds commercial property to the tax rolls,” said Senator Joe Pittman. “This is very welcome and timely news as the pipeline project, related site improvements and the resulting growth in the area will help support the Homer-Center School District, Center Township and Indiana County.” Additionally, a $750,000 Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant administered by the Indiana County Commissioners will assist Air Liquide with improving the geotechnical conditions of the property and other site improvements, such as grading, stormwater management and other infrastructure projects on the site. Air Liquide, in collaboration with its E.P.C. firm (Engineering, Procurement, Construction), Gruppo Energy Future, is undertaking these various capital projects, to improve the 119 Business Park – Lot 2 in order to provide a safe and attractive site for this economic development project.

“These grants should be viewed as investments in our future,” said Representative Jim Struzzi. “This is great news for Indiana County and our entire region. This is one of the first facilities of its kind in the state, and its innovative technology provides a source of sustainable energy generation while helping our local farms. It takes a team of local professionals dedicated to economic development to attract these types of ventures to make them a reality here. It’s a big win for everyone and we are pleased to support this effort.”
“This partnership is an excellent example of what we can do when we embrace challenges and work together to find market-driven, common-sense solutions. With this project, we’re increasing domestic and renewable energy production, strengthening Indiana County’s and the region’s agriculture sector and creating economic opportunities for our farmers. Infrastructure is the foundation for economic growth and a key component to enhance our competitiveness for capital investment and job opportunities,” jointly issued statement by Indiana County Commissioners, Chairman Mike Keith, Robin Gorman and Sherene Hess.

The 119 Business Park project has been a collaborative effort over many years. “The Indiana County Development Corporation (ICDC) is appreciative of the PIPE and RACP funding and the support from Senator Joe Pittman and Representative Jim Struzzi to invest in needed infrastructure at the 119 Business Park, which has been instrumental in attracting this new economic development opportunity,” said Joe Reschini, ICDC President. “In addition to the collaboration with the Canton family, this is a great demonstration of cooperation at all levels of local government between the Indiana County Commissioners, the Center Township Supervisors and the Homer-Center School District and we look forward to working with Air Liquide to move this exciting project forward.”