Biogas plant slated for Clovis

An alternative energy company is slated to build biogas facilities in Curry and Roosevelt counties.

New Jersey-based White Hat Energy will build a $36 million biogas facility in Curry County to extract methane gas from cow manure, according to a press release from the Clovis Industrial Development Corp.

The Clovis facility will create about 90 high-wage jobs during the first phase and about 250 jobs over the next five years, according to the release. There will also be 75 temporary constructions jobs.

The average salary at the plant is $27,000 with benefits, the release said.

“The project will be a great addition to our industrial base and will provide new job opportunities for the citizens of the Clovis/Portales Microplex,” Clovis Industrial Development Corp. President Lee Mallory said in the press release.

Using anaerobic digesters, the facility will produce methane gas, which will be cleaned and pumped into a national natural gas line, according Gene Carey, president of Mills and Elevator Supply Co., which is contracted to build four plants in Clovis and three in Portales. Each plant will consist of an anaerobic digester capable of converting about 200,000 tons of manure a year.

The Clovis facility use about 600,000 gallons of wastewater a day from the Southwest Cheese plant, said Clovis Industrial Development Corp. Executive Director Chase Gentry.

The plants would reduce the level of methane in the air and improve the quality of groundwater, according to the release.

“White Hat Energy, LLC represents a variety of benefits to the community,” Clovis Mayor David Lansford said in the release. “This development will not only create 90 jobs initially but will also improve the environment and add the efficiency of a renewable energy resource.”

Gentry said construction is expected in six to eight weeks after the city adopts an ordinance to include the project as part of the local economic development act.

The city of Clovis will provide 20 acres of land to White Hat Energy adjacent to the city’s wastewater treatment plant south of Clovis, the release said.

A City Commission meeting on this issue is scheduled for today.

Carey said the facilities will take nine months to construct and plans for more plants are on the horizon.

“There’s a lot more plants on the drawing board but that’s what we’ve got to start with first,” Carey said.

According to the release, 30 dairy farms have contracts to supply the facility with the manure.