Enerkem GreenField Alberta Biofuels Awarded Permit to Build Commercial Municipal Waste-to-Biofuels Facility
Enerkem GreenField Alberta Biofuels (EGAB) has successfully completed the necessary environmental regulatory process and has been granted a permit to commence construction of a commercial facility to produce biofuels and green chemicals from sorted municipal solid waste in Edmonton, Alberta. This will be North America’s first unconditional commercial permit to produce advanced biofuels from sorted municipal solid waste, according to Vincent Chornet, President and Chief Executive Officer of Enerkem.
The permit was granted by Alberta Environment under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act of the Province of Alberta. The regulatory process entails a series of meetings and studies as well as a consultation with the public. The project successfully met all required regulatory environmental standards including air emissions and was awarded a permit allowing for construction and operation.
In 2008, EGAB entered into a 25-year agreement with the City of Edmonton to build and operate a waste-to-biofuels facility on municipal land and to receive the City’s sorted municipal solid waste as feedstock. (Earlier post.) The City of Edmonton will supply 100,000 tonnes of sorted municipal solid waste per year. The sorted municipal solid waste to be used is the end-waste after recycling and composting. These residues would otherwise be landfilled.
Construction of the biofuels facility is expected to begin by the end of 2009, at a total cost of approximately C$70 million. The City of Edmonton and the Province of Alberta, through the Alberta Energy Research Institute (AERI), are contributing a combined C$20 million to its production. Upon completion, the facility will initially produce 36 million liters (9.5 million gallons) of ethanol per year. The plant will contribute to meeting the Canadian and provincial 5% renewable fuel mandate.
Enerkem has developed a unique gasification, sequential gas conditioning and catalysis technology platform capable of using a mix of feedstock such as sorted municipal solid waste, forest biomass and agricultural residues. Enerkem is a private company financed by leading US venture capital firms Rho Ventures and Braemar Energy Ventures, the Canadian investment fund BDR Capital and the company’s management.