January 20, 2021

2020 & 2021 for DMT and the Renewable Natural Gas Industry

A letter from our General Manager, Robert Lems

The year 2020 had its fair share of major historic events—many of which still loom over us into the new year, including the rapid and continuous spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Life as we knew it last March came to a grinding halt, forcing companies to close their doors and others to acclimate. As a company that has led the renewable natural gas industry space for more than three decades, adapting has always been the key to DMT’s success and longevity, and continues to help us endure during a time when many are struggling.

What did we do in 2020?

In 2020, DMT grew in new territories such as British Columbia, Ontario (Canada) and North Carolina. We strengthened our presence in the Midwest and Northeast, commissioning renewable natural gas projects in Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Wisconsin. Ultimately, this would not have been possible without our hardworking staff and quick responses to addressing:

1. Day-to-Day Operations

Adapting our day-to-day operations, such as working remotely, was relatively easy. DMT is a global company already acclimated to working with experts in different zones.

2. Commissioning activities

With travel restrictions between the U.S. and the EU still in effect, using staff from both main offices to commission plants was and remains limited. To adapt, we hired additional staff in both the Midwest and Northeast regions. This helped us commission and better serve our customers with projects in those areas. Accessible staff can now easily drive to site locations instead of flying. With the strict quarantine regulations we currently have in place after flying, this strategy has reduced quarantine timelines.

3. Supply chain delays

For our local supply chain, stalking up on spare parts helped our projects stay on track. Preparing for the worse allowed us to quickly replace large items that would have caused major time delays. This solution proved very useful. Not only did we meet project deadlines but we also shortened the overall delivery time for a key account with multiple projects.

4. Technical support solutions

In our last COVID-19 update, we announced our adaptation of tele-remote solutions, such as the implementation of PPE-compatible, head-mounted glasses. These glasses were already being used in the field to offer our customers 24/7 service site support. However, this technical solution also proved beneficial for

  1. Performing Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT) with suppliers, allowing clients and global engineers to be present for an important project milestone,
  2. Remote mentoring and collaboration, without the physical support of staff from the Netherlands, and
  3. Document navigation and data visualization while on site.

This solution proved so successful that DMT plans to continue this model for all projects, thereby, reducing travel and increasing team collaboration.

“The quality of DMT commissioning on site and remote support went above and beyond our expectations.”

Mark Simms, the Utilities Director for a renewable natural gas project we completed in Sioux City, Iowa.

What’s to come in 2021 for the renewable natural gas industry?

In Canada, the Canadian Biogas Association estimates the country’s renewable natural gas (RNG) potential to 1,280 Petajoule (PJ). Currently, there are regional targets of 10% RNG in Quebec’s pipeline and 15% RNG in British Columbia’s pipeline by 2030.

In the U.S., the ICF estimates the country’s RNG potential between 1,750 and 3,990 PJ per year by 2040. While we are still waiting on the Environmental Protection Agency regarding the 2021 renewable volume obligations, we anticipate a new administration with greater concerns for climate change to continue federal policy drivers for renewable natural gas along with increasing D3 RIN prices.

RIN prices reflect the health of the renewable natural gas industry as its price effects project incentives.
D3 RIN prices fell to an all time low in 2019 but continue to increase into the new year.

Outside of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, there are more than 30% of states with their own additional renewable energy policy drivers. Such policies will help increase incentives to further develop renewable natural gas projects. We anticipate the current focus on small dairy plants will also continue due to RIN incentives. Based on all of these drivers in both the U.S. and Canada, we see enormous potential for growth in our industry and predict the renewable natural gas market in North America to grow by more than 25% in 2021.

What’s to come in 2021 for DMT?

At DMT, we are very grateful that both our company and industry continue to succeed during this time. This year, we expect to meet our sales target for 2021, continue commissioning plants, and deepen our footing in the Canadian market. With a standardized approach, DMT also aims to improve economics and shorten delivery times.

As a leading technology supplier, we thank our customers, partners, vendors and internal team. We promise to continue working hard to bring renewable natural gas plants to life in both the United States and Canada and appreciate your support.