Renewable natural gas company to build on 40-acre site in Bullitt County

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A renewable natural gas company hopes to help the bourbon boom in Kentucky.

Synthica Energy announced it has entered the permit phase for a new anaerobic digestion facility in Lebanon Junction in Bullitt County. The company said it will process approximately 200,000 tons of bourbon distillery waste and food waste from manufacturers and turn it into a renewable natural gas.

The Bullitt County facility is being developed on a 40-acre industrial site just northeast of the intersection of South Preston Highway and Interstate 65.  The company said this will be the largest anaerobic digestion facility in the state and will help allow for faster growth and more bourbon production.

Those who live near the proposed site have concerns about what the plant might bring.

“The smell is a concern because we don’t want the stuff coming in from – in a distillery you’ve got the distillery residue going on houses and stuff,” said Lebanon Junction resident Charles Welch.

“Bourbon distilleries in Kentucky have ambitious growth goals, with over $5 billion in expansion currently underway,” Sam Schutte, CEO of Synthica, said in a news release. “However, existing outlets for distillery byproducts – which are sometimes produced at a 20-to-1 ratio to bourbon output – are inconvenient, seasonal, and face competition from the growth in ethanol, biodiesel, and other animal feed-generating industries. Without large-scale, affordable outlets for these byproducts, the growth of Kentucky distilleries will be stunted. As the largest AD facility in the state of Kentucky, Synthica’s facility will help relieve this pressure and allow for faster growth and more bourbon production. As fans of bourbon, we can all agree this is a good thing.”

Scutte says the smell will not be an issue.