Canadian cluster partners up to build new biofuels plant in Quebec

biofuels plant in Quebec

A cluster of refiners have partnered up in Canada to build a first-in-class biofuels plant. The cluster includes Suncor, Shell and Enerkem. The plant will be built in Varennes Quebec, and will use non-recyclable waste to make advanced biofuels and renewable chemicals.

This project advances the Canadian Clean Fuel Standard, intended to reduce Canada’s reliance on fossil fuels by 40% by 2030, while helping in increasing the supply of biofuels and other renewable chemicals in the Quebec area.

The plant is intended to transform about 20,000 tons of non-recyclable waste and wood waste, into an annual output of 125 million liters of biofuels. The contribution to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions will be equivalent to take off the road about 50,000 annually.

Varennes Carbon Recycling will be the name of the plant. It will have an approximate C$875 million of investment, $60 million of which have been exercised since August 2019, to development of the project and obtaining federal permits. Its estimated to generate annual benefits for Quebec of $85 million, and more than 600 jobs.

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Quebec at the forefront for the upcoming CFS

As the plant will produce biofuels with renewable energy and green hydrogen, local utility Hydro-Quebec will supply the hydrogen and oxygen for the plant. Proman, the second largest methanol producer will also partner with the cluster to produce bio-methanol.

“This strong support validates the uniqueness of our gasification technology to enable the production of circular synthesis gas.  It is a major achievement for Enerkem to have its second full-scale commercial plant become a reality, showcasing our unique clean disruptive technology that transforms waste to biofuels and renewable chemicals,” said Dominique Boies, CEO of Enerkem in a statement.

To what Michael Crothers, Shell Canada President, added: “Shell Canada is delighted with the proposed partnership with Enerkem, a leading Canadian cleantech company, and we see this as a step forward towards a net-zero emissions future. By converting non-recyclable waste and wood waste to low-carbon fuels, we can reduce the carbon footprint of energy used by Canadians every day.”

Canadian CFS is set to begin in 2022; according to estimations by S&P Platts, demand for renewable fuels under CFS will be at about 375 million gallons by 2025.

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