Grain ethanol plant to run on wood ethanol

A Calgary company planning to use barley and pea crops to make ethanol in northeastern Saskatchewan now plans to add a second facility making wood-waste ethanol, in part to fire the first plant.

Prairie Green Renewable Energy in 2007 announced plans to build a 113 million-litre-per-year barley- and pea-based ethanol plant by mid-2010 at Hudson Bay, Sask., about 150 km east of Melfort.

The plant’s meal byproduct would be marketed to the livestock sector as a high-protein feed product, the company said.

But the company on Monday also announced it has signed a letter of intent with Rapid City, S.D. firm KL Energy to also build a 19 million-litre-per-year cellulose ethanol plant at the same site, with part of the cellulose ethanol output used to power the grain-based ethanol facility.

KL Energy said it is proving its cellulose ethanol production process using pine feedstocks at a commercial pilot plant at Upton, Wyoming, about 180 km west of Rapid City.

Prairie Green president Ernest Nycz said the Hudson Bay plant would use slash piles — that is, wood chips and wastes from sawmills and logging that are otherwise burned — as feedstock.

Nycz said the company is in talks with U.S. and Canadian buyers for its ethanol when the plant is up and producing. The cellulose ethanol it plans to produce could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 90 per cent compared to conventional gasoline, KL Energy said Monday.

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