Enerkem and GreenField Awarded $39.8 million from the Canadian Government

Funding for joint venture company, Vanerco, will be used for cellulosic ethanol facility in Quebec.

October 7, 2013
REW Staff

Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver has confirmed Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s (SDTC’ s) financial contribution in Vanerco, the joint venture partnership formed by Enerkem and GreenField to build and operate a cellulosic ethanol facility integrated with GreenField’ s existing ethanol plant in Varennes, Quebec.

Through SDTC’s NextGen Biofuels Fund™ , 734,500 Canadian dollars ($708,162) will support the initial development of the facility as a repayable contribution , an amount that could go up to CA$39.8 million.

“Our government is investing in advanced clean energy technologies that create well-paying jobs and generate economic opportunities,” says Oliver. “By supporting innovative projects like Vanerco’s, we are helping Canadian companies develop an idea into a marketable reality.”

“This project truly puts industrial waste to work, creating jobs in the community while producing as much as 38 million liters of ethanol a year . SDTC is proud to be a partner in this pioneering project,” says Vicky Sharpe, SDTC president and CEO. “Getting technologies such as this to a commercial scale will be crucial in helping Canada play a key role in the dynamic global cleantech marketplace, currently valued at CA$1 trillion.”

The Vanerco cellulosic ethanol plant will contribute to the ongoing development of the next-generation biofuels industry in Canada . In turn, the growing sector of advanced biofuels stimulates the manufacturing sector, creates jobs, generates value from waste materials and reduces oil dependence, imports and greenhouse gas emissions while positioning Canada at the forefront of the global clean technology sector.

“Clean technologies, which offer a true global alternative to fossil fuels, emerge when industry pioneers, governments, venture capitalists and academics work together to ensure a successful transition to the commercial stage, ” says Vincent Chornet, chairman of Vanerco. “SDTC played a pivotal role by becoming the catalyst that helped all these players join forces. We are glad to see them on board with us in this commercial project.”

The nonrecyclable waste to be used at the Vanerco facility will come from institutional, commercial and industrial sectors, and from construction and demolition debris. Construction of the facility, which will use Enerkem’s proprietary waste-to-biofuels technology, is planned to begin in 2014. The plant could access up to CA$39.8 million as it passes through project milestones and required governance approvals.