BC Organics digester construction should begin this fall

Brian Roebke photo
Dynamic Group Chief Technology Officer Dan Nemke said last week the planning process is nearing the end for the $60 million, 16-unit community digester, and named BC Organics. Construction is slated to start this fall on Highway IL in the Town of Wrightstown.

By Brian Roebke
The much debated and long anticipated $60 million, 16-unit community digester, to be built by Dynamic Group and named BC Organics, is slated to start construction this fall on Highway IL in the Town of Wrightstown.
Farms currently contracted to deliver manure to the facility are two at Country Aire Farms (pumped), and single operations of Wiese Brothers (pumped), Gold Dust Dairy (10 truckloads per day), Rueden Beef (pumped), New Horizons Dairy (seven loads), and Brickstead Dairy (three loads).
Dynamic Group received a $15 million Focus on Energy grant to construct the digester.
Dan Nemke, chief technology officer for Dynamic and the main voice of the company who’s immediately answered almost every question thrown at him through the process to obtain a Conditional Use Permit first from the Town of Holland and then from the Town of Wrightstown, is excited that the planning process is nearing the end.
The company was expected to start constructing the plant in late spring or early summer, but the coronavirus pandemic hit them hard, throwing the schedule behind by three or four months.
Engineering work is almost finished, but the biggest portion of the work right now is working with Miron Construction on the construction sequencing, determining during weekly meetings what needs to happen to keep construction moving without any big delays. Permitting is mostly in place.
“We’re getting all the pre-construction stuff ironed out here before we get the ball rolling, and waiting on our bank and our lawyers to get through the documentation to finalize the paperwork and get everything going,” Nemke said.
Since so many people are working remotely, Nemke said the process has been painfully slow. To make things worse, the bank is based in North Carolina, which was just hit by a hurricane and associated tornados.
“It’s frustrating from our standpoint but there’s not much we can do with it,” he said.
Dynamic is doing everything it can so construction can start on the underground work — including underground piping for the plant and building footings — this fall so Miron can start building up from the ground over the winter.
“More than likely we’ll hit the ground pretty hard here in spring,” Nemke said.
The exterior building is important for the digester but the internal structure is complicated and precise and will take longer to complete.
Underground piping from the farms to the digester is scheduled to be done after the ground thaws in the spring.
The company expects to start commissioning the digester in the third quarter of next year and it should begin fully operational by the end of 2021.
“It looks great on paper,” Nemke laughed, knowing construction doesn’t always go according to plan. “The building part is the easy part in the grand scheme of things.”
Getting to the groundbreaking is the hardest and most lengthy part of the process but the engineering process has gone well.
“Everything is proceeding as expected,” Nemke said. “We haven’t had anything that we weren’t expecting at this point.”
Using the town’s mill rate for residential of $2.95 per $1,000 of assessed value that provides the town with an estimated annual tax revenue of $177,000 from this project. Once the project is operational, it will create up to 20 new long-term full-time positions.