South Side Landfill planning $25 million methane-conversion project

A landfill on the southwest side of Indianapolis could soon get a $25 million upgrade to capture methane gas and turn it into renewable natural gas for transportation fleets, as a substitute for diesel fuel.

South Side Landfill Inc. is teaming up with Kinetrex Energy of Indianapolis and EDL Energy of Australia to build a natural gas facility by the landfill, near Kentucky Avenue and Raymond Street.

They want to capture methane, which is a natural byproduct of decomposing landfill material, and process and purify it for use by a variety of customers, including trucking fleets.

The partnership, called Indy High BTU LLC., is requesting a tax abatement to help make the project “more economically feasible,” according to an application filed with the Marion County Metropolitan Development Commission.

The $25 million investment includes $19.4 million in eligible personal property. The project would create four jobs at an average pay of $31.25 an hour.

The investment would result in an increase to the tax base of approximately $7.7 million of assessed value in the first year of operation, according to the Metropolitan Development Commission.

The abatement would save the company $726,641 over five years, for a savings of about 56 percent. During the abatement period, the company is expected to pay an estimated $570,0009 in personal property taxes related to the new equipment. Afterward, it would pay about $195,000 annually in personal property taxes.

The commission staff is recommending approval of the abatement, calling the project “significant” for Wayne Township in terms of new taxes and potential job creation.

“The project also provides significant environmental benefit by providing an alternative, renewable fuel source of regional fleets, reducing the reliance on non-renewable fossil fuels,” according to the application paperwork.

South Side Landfill, in operation since 1971, is privately owned. It the only municipal solid-waste landfill in Indianapolis, serving residential, commercial and industrial customers.

Kinetrex, formerly a part of Citizens Energy, is an independent supplier of natural gas that is chilled into liquid form for transportation, agricultural uses, manufacturing and utilities. It operates two other plants—at West 86th Street and Zionsville Road, and in Beech Grove.

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