VERBIO North America (VNA) has formed VERBIO Farm Services (VFS), as the firm progresses towards the start-up of its renewable natural gas (RNG) production facility in Iowa, US.

The facility has been under construction since early 2019, following VNA’s purchase of the former DuPont cellulosic ethanol plant. With the construction of eight large fermentation tanks now complete, operations are expected to commence in the third quarter of 2021.

The plant uses anaerobic digestion to convert cellulosic agricultural residue into RNG. Its location in central Iowa is ideally suited to providing the approximately 75,000-100,000 tons of corn stover annually to produce 7 million ethanol-equivalent gallons of RNG, once the first phase of the site’s development is complete.

“This is a critical step for our North America operations and we look forward to engaging with the region’s growers to secure feedstock vital to the plant’s operations,” said Bernd Sauter, COO and director of purchasing & logistics at VERBIO.

VFS will be responsible for identifying and contracting for corn stover, working with local growers. Ronald DeJongh, the company’s newly-hired president, will be responsible for setting up the new firm.

Through its operating subsidiary VERBIO Nevada, VNA currently manages four corn stover sites acquired from DuPont. The sites will be integrated into VFS operations as part of a planned transition over the next few months.