Quebec's first waste-to-biofuels plant unveiled

The Government of Québec has announced its plan to inject $27 million in Québec’s first full-scale commercial cellulosic ethanol plant through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife and Investissement Québec. This facility will be built and operated by a joint venture partnership formed by Enerkem, a waste-to-biofuels and chemicals company, and GreenField Ethanol, the Canadian leader in alcohol production.

The future plant will be located in Varennes, Québec and will use Enerkem’s proprietary technology to convert non-recyclable municipal solid waste into biofuels. With a full-scale waste-to-biofuels facility under construction in Edmonton, Alberta, and another one under development in Mississippi, the Varennes facility represents Enerkem’s third full-scale commercial project.

"By producing liquid transportation fuel from non-recyclable waste, this facility opens the door to the emergence of a new energy sector and will allow for local sustainable management of our waste materials", declared Vincent Chornet, Enerkem President and CEO. "Located on the site of Ethanol GreenField's current plant, this project will represent one of the first integrations between an existing, first generation ethanol plant and a new cellulosic ethanol plant."

"The construction of this innovative plant on our current site marks the beginning of our transition to an integrated biorefinery in Varennes", said Jean Roberge, General Manager, GreenField Ethanol Québec. "We are pleased to partner with Enerkem and integrate their technology to build Québec’s first full-scale commercial cellulosic ethanol plant. The use of waste materials, that is made possible with Enerkem's technology, complements GreenField Ethanol R&D efforts with other types of biomass. "

This waste-to-biofuels production facility will help reduce greenhouse emissions, fossil fuel imports and landfilled volumes. The non-recyclable waste will come from institutional, commercial and industrial sectors, and from construction and demolition debris. The anticipated annual production capacity of this plant is approximately 38 million litres.

"In addition to presenting a solution to landfilling, today's announcement will enable greenhouse gas emission reductions by about 110,000 metric tons of CO2 per year.

Cellulosic ethanol is a renewable fuel that will contribute to reducing our dependence on petroleum products. By supporting this project, our government is concretely reinforcing energy security for Québec. Today's announcement puts Québec in an advantageous position in the search for alternatives to fossil fuel consumption", outlined Minister Clément Gignac.

"Québec has resolved to reduce, by 2020, its greenhouse gas emissions to 20% below 1990 levels, as part of its 2006-2012 Climate Change Action Plan. We believe we can be productive and create wealth and jobs, all while protecting our environment. The construction of the cellulosic ethanol facility belonging to the joint venture formed by Enerkem and GreenField Ethanol, is one step closer towards reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. It is with solid and structured projects, such as the one presented today, that Québec will reassert its leadership in a green and sustainable economy", commented Minister Sam Hamad.

The $27 million contribution from the Government of Québec includes $18 million in financial assistance from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife and a $9 million loan from Investissement Québec.

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Greenfield Ethanol

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