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World's First Municipal Waste-To-Biofuels Facility

Thu, 05/21/2009 - 7:16am

Montreal (PRNewswire) — Enerkem, a leading waste-to-biofuels technology company, recently announced that 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 is North America's first unconditional commercial permit ever awarded to produce advanced biofuels from sorted municipal solid waste. This unprecedented project is set to change the dynamics of the waste and fuel industries by making waste — that would otherwise be landfilled — a resource for transportation fuels," said Vincent Chornet, President and Chief Executive Officer of Enerkem. "The city of Edmonton is a leader in waste management and is now pioneering this solution, which is to become a model for cities around the globe."

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. The city of Edmonton will supply 100,000 tons 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 CDN$70 million. The city of Edmonton and the province of Alberta, through the Alberta Energy Research Institute, are contributing a combined CDN$20 million to its production. Upon completion, the facility will initially produce 36 million liters (9.5 million gallons) of ethanol per year, reducing Alberta's carbon dioxide footprint by more than 6 million tons over the next 25 years — the equivalent of removing 12,000 cars from the road every year. The plant will also contribute to meeting the Canadian and provincial 5 percent renewable fuel mandate.

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