Podcast Preview with Andrew Eastman, Husch Blackwell

Andrew Eastman, senior council at Husch Blackwell, discusses contracts and financing for biogas projects during Season 1, Episode 8 of the Biomass Magazine Podcast.
By Biomass Magazine | October 18, 2022

Andrew Eastman, senior council at Husch Blackwell, was a guest for Season 1, Episode 8 of the Biomass Magazine Podcast. Husch Blackwell is a national law firm with approximately 800 lawyers across 20 offices nationwide. Within the firm, Blackwell explains, there is a group called Energy Natural Resources, which is dedicated to green energy development, project and financing transactional work, and a sub-team dedicated to biofuels, biomass and biogas projects. Eastman is a part of this team, which specializes in representing developers throughout all stages of the project lifecycle, from concept to initial financing, to commercial operation and offtake.

BMM: So, have you been busy lately?  
A.E.: Oh yes—busy and then some. And with enactment of Inflation Reduction Act, that will only increase.  

BMM: We’re here today to chat about project contracts and financing. What are the foundational agreements of a biogas project?
A.E.: Any biogas project requires a couple of backbone, foundational contracts to get off the ground and going. The first has to do with land rights. If you’re going to build a project, you need the rights to be on that project site, to build and operate. Those agreements usually take the form of a lease or license form the landlord. You also need a complementary easement agreement, which lets you, your subs, agents and contractors be on-site, and it also allows you to get across to adjacent or neighboring land for the purpose of interconnection. Those are the two things that get you off the ground and running. Once you’ve got those in place, the thing that needs to happen next is the feedstock agreement. If you’re dealing with a livestock project, this is probably going to be a manure supply agreement, a landfill will be a gas rights agreement, and a wastewater treatment plant is going to be a comparable agreement ... those are really the three foundational agreements that are the basis for any biogas project.

BMM: Once you have those three in line, what’s next?   
A.E.: Once you get those three just discussed, the next thing you’re looking for is an offtake agreement. It shouldn’t be longer than your gas rights or feedstock agreement. The reason for that is you don’t want to be stuck in a position where you’re obligated to sell gas for a longer time than you have the rights to receive or generate that gas. Once you’ve got those four contracts in place, you’re in pretty good shape to go get financing for your project. Those are the things that lenders, investors and financing parties are going to be looking for.  

BMM: What’s the financing environment
like right now for biogas projects?
Tune in for Eastman’s response

Listen to the rest of the podcast:

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Interested in being a guest?
Contact Danielle Piekarski at
[email protected]