GreenField to produce waste-based ethanol

Ontario ethanol firm GreenField Ethanol has signed on for a project to produce ethanol from Edmonton’s municipal waste.

The company announced Thursday it will work with the Alberta capital’s civic government and Montreal biofuel technology firm Enerkem on a $70 million facility, expected to produce about 36 million litres of biofuel per year using city waste.

Of the project costs, the city and province will contribute $20 million, while the city invests another $50 million in a related processing and research facility. The province’s contribution will come through the Alberta Energy Research Institute (AERI), which will put up $29 million in total for the project.

“It will enable us to make a noted contribution to reducing greenhouse gases and become the first major city in North America to achieve 90 per cent residential waste diversion from landfill,” Mayor Stephen Mandel said in the release.

Enerkem CEO Vincent Chornet said the agreement is the first in the world between a large urban centre and a biofuel company for a municipal waste project.

The Edmonton plant is the first to be announced by Greenfield Ethanol and Enerkem since the two companies announced plans to jointly design, build and operate commercial “next-generation” ethanol plants.

GreenField currently produces about 350 million litres per year of fuel ethanol at Chatham and Tiverton, Ont. and Varennes, Que., plans to have a 200 million-litre facility up and running in December at Johnstown, Ont., and has another plant in development at Hensall, Ont.

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