Suburban Propane first to offer commercial sales of the blended product in Southern California
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – April 27, 2022 – Oberon Fuels (“Oberon”) announces commercial availability of a new approach to drive down emissions across the propane industry: a blend of propane and Oberon’s renewable DME (dimethyl ether). This blend replaces some of propane’s fossil-derived fuel with a Oberon's rDME® fuel, enabling up to a 60 percent reduction in carbon emissions for this popular fuel used in vehicles, forklifts, farm equipment, backyard grills and outdoor heaters. Beginning today, Oberon partner Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. (NYSE: SPH), the third largest propane supplier in the U.S., is the first company to make this more sustainable blended product available to its customers across Southern California.
“Blending our renewably-sourced DME with propane can slash emissions and fits readily with existing storage, transportation and fueling infrastructure,” said Rebecca Boudreaux, Ph.D., President and CEO of Oberon. “Oberon’s rDME fuel is a straightforward and scalable way for propane distributors and their customers to become more sustainable and will lead to overall emissions reductions from the propane sector which is a critical step to meeting global climate commitments.”
The milestone builds on Oberon’s 2021 start of commercial production at its Maverick plant in Brawley, California. Oberon’s breakthroughs have benefited from California Energy Commission investment and Imperial County Workforce and Economic Development programs, helping to build local jobs and industrialization opportunities. Oberon is moving forward on design and site acquisition for its second, larger commercial plant and is evaluating a pipeline of follow-on projects and partnerships around the world.
Because DME is similar to propane in its chemical structure, it can be blended with propane, transported in the same trucks, and used in similar applications, while notably reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. For instance, if used as a 20% blend in all propane worldwide, Oberon’s rDME fuel could reduce GHGs by 750 million metric tons per year.
“Renewable DME offers our customers a simple way to reduce emissions, without the need to make significant investments in new technologies to meet decarbonization standards, which is increasingly important to them,” said Michael Stivala, President and Chief Executive Officer of Suburban Propane. “Blending Oberon’s rDME fuel with propane is one of the key elements of our strategy to offer more sustainable options for the markets we serve and to support the overall energy transition with low carbon alternatives. We look forward to increasing both the blend rate and availability of the blended product in the coming months.”
Each year, more than 170 million tons of propane are produced globally. While propane produces lower emissions than other fossil-based fuels, it is still responsible for 1.3 billion metric tons of GHGs each year, or over 2 percent of total global CO emissions. Because Oberon’s rDME fuel is made from waste and other renewable resources (such as renewable methanol from paper mill waste, or biogas from local farms), it has low, or even negative carbon emissions.
About Oberon Fuels
California-based Oberon Fuels is on a mission to decarbonize the fuel and energy sectors through the commercialization of renewable DME (dimethyl ether). Oberon’s low or carbon-negative rDME® fuel can reduce the carbon intensity of propane by up to 60 percent when blended, offering potential reductions in global CO2 of 750 million metric tons per year. The fuel's characteristics also makes it a compelling means for transporting hydrogen for its myriad, fast-growing applications. For more information, visit www.oberonfuels.com.
John Williams, Scoville PR for Oberon Fuels
Editor’s Note: References to Oberon, Oberon Fuels, DME, rDME and associated logos in this press release have been updated since the original release date to reflect new/current trademark status on terms and logomarks. rDME® is a trademark of Oberon Fuels, Inc.