VERBIO North America finds new sit for planned Kansas biogas plant after community upset with original plan

January 9, 2019 |

In Michigan, in early December 2018, VERBIO North America terminated the agreement it had entered into to purchase a 159-acre parcel owned by Mrs. Myrtle Posey located at the southeast corner of N. Meridian Road and E 110 Avenue N. The site was selected, following a detailed search that lasted approximately 3 months, because it offered direct access to a 16” natural gas transmission pipeline located adjacent to the property running along N. Meridian Road. In addition, the site is located in the heart of the Kansas wheat belt offering an unlimited source of wheat straw, and also offered potential access to new water rights.

Upon initiating the agreement, VNA, on behalf of Posey, filed an application with Sumner County to rezone the property from agricultural to heavy industrial. The zoning change coupled with a conditional use permit would have allowed VNA to construct its first US biomethane production facility. It was anticipated that the zoning and conditional use permit would be issued by no later than October 2018.

Unfortunately, a group of Sumner County residents opposed the zoning change. Following a number of contentious hearings, the Sumner County Planning Commission rejected VNA’s Requests for that parcel due in large part to concerns about heavy vehicle traffic that would be required to serve the site.

Due to a recent procedural change unrelated to this project, the County Commissioners would have had the final vote on this matter.

However, VNA believed it would be difficult in the long-term to ever overcome local negativity. Responsibly meeting operating objectives, to include being a good corporate citizen, would have proved challenging.

Concurrently, VNA has been evaluating alternative site options in Sumner and the surrounding counties.

Following additional discussions with community officials and business leaders, the company has identified a 144-acre site owned by Charter Equities II, located 1 mile west of I-35, at the southwest corner of Highway 160 and Seneca Road. The site addresses VNA’s critical infrastructure requirements and will substantially mitigate any concerns about heavy vehicle access to serve the plant’s feedstock requirements. Based on the stated commitments of City of Wellington officials, VNA remains convinced that siting a facility in Sumner County remains an excellent business decision.

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