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Government of Québec to invest $27M in Enerkem/Greenfield Ethanol waste-to-biofuels plant

The Government of Québec plans to inject C$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, Canada’s largest ethanol company.

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.

In 2010, the Government of Canada announced it would provide up to C$79.75 million in funding over seven years to GreenField’s corn ethanol facility in Varennes through the ecoENERGY for Biofuels program. (Earlier post.)

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. 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.

—Vincent Chornet, Enerkem President and CEO

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 liters (10 million gallons US).

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.

Last week, Enerkem filed a registration statement on Form F-1 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and a preliminary prospectus with securities regulatory authorities in each of the provinces and territories of Canada, relating to a proposed initial public offering of its common shares in the United States and in Canada. The company expects to raise up to $125 million in its IPO.



This new cellulosic (wastes) ethanol plant will be co-located with the existing corn ethanol plant and share some of the facilities. Eventually, most waste/garbage could be used as feed stock while reducing the 300,000 tonnes/year grain corn currently used.


They should do butanol instead, a direct gasoline replacement instead of cheap ethanol that work bad in engines especially in cold climate like canada.


They can use the corn stalks and cobs for fuel right at the ethanol plants and save the corn kernels for feed and fuel. They are using corn cob cellulose with enzymes and fermentation now. They could expand that to use corn stalks and gasify what is left over for a higher fuel yield per ton.

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