VANERCO, the joint venture partnership formed by Enerkem and GreenField to build and operate a cellulosic ethanol facility in Varennes, Quebec
, received a financial contribution from Sustainable Development Technology Canada, a federal funding source to support sustainable energy.
Enerkem makes biofuels and renewable chemicals from waste, while GreenField is a specialty alcohols producer, with a focus on pharmaceutical, medical, beverage and industrial alcohol, and fuel ethanol, as well as associated agricultural co-products.
Their joint venture plant will be integrated with GreenField's existing ethanol plant in Varennes, Quebec. According to Vanerco officials, through the federal government’s Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s NextGen Biofuels Fund, $734,500 will support the initial development of the facility as a repayable contribution, with an amount that could go up to $39.8 million. Company officials said the plant could access up to $39.8M as it passes through project milestones and required governance approvals.
"Our government is investing in advanced clean energy technologies that create well-paying jobs and generate economic opportunities," said the Honorable Joe Oliver, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources. "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 litres of ethanol a year. SDTC is proud to be a partner in this pioneering project," said 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 $1 trillion."
The VANERCO said its 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," said 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 non recyclable 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.