Ensyn breaks ground on new 10 million gallon advanced biofuels project in Quebec

July 13, 2016 |

JacobsIn Washington, Ensyn announced ground-breaking on a new 10.5 million gallon biocrude project in Port-Cartier Quebec.  The facility, which will be 50% owned by Ensyn and will receive financing support from Sustainable Development Technology Canada.

The project was announced live on-stage at Bioenergy 2016 by Ensyn’s new CEO, Jeffrey Jacobs, who described the project as the “largest-ever deployment of Ensyn’s RTP technology” and he added that the two production train project represent the 16th and 17th commercial deployment of Ensyn’s tech.

The Cote Nord Project, being developed by Ensyn, Arbec Forest Products Inc., and Groupe Rémabec, is located adjacent to Arbec’s sawmill on the north shore of the St. Lawrence Seaway. The Cote Nord Project has been funded and construction is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2017.

Port-Cartier in an aerial view

Port-Cartier in an aerial view

Heating oil and renewable crude

The Cote Nord Project will convert approximately 65,000 dry metric tons per year of slash and other forest residues from local sources to biocrude. The biocrude will be sold to customers in the Northeastern U.S. and in Eastern Canada for heating purposes and as a renewable feedstock for petroleum refineries for the production of low carbon transportation fuels. The RTP conversion unit is being engineered and supplied by Envergent Technologies, a joint venture between Ensyn and Honeywell UOP.

A process flow diagram of Ensyn's RTP technology

A process flow diagram of Ensyn’s RTP technology

About the project participants

Arbec is a privately-held forest products company operating in Eastern Canada. Arbec owns twelve wood processing plants in Quebec and New Brunswick, ten of which are in partnership with Groupe Rémabec. Groupe Rémabec is a major forest products company operating in Quebec, with a focus on timber harvesting and wood processing. Groupe Rémabec harvests more than three million cubic metres of lumber yearly and operates ten wood processing plants.

The Low Carbon benefit

According to figures released by the project owners, ” use of Ensyn’s biocrude for energy purposes leads to a reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions approximately 70% and 90%, depending on the application.

The financing

Canadian and Quebec governments played a major role in the financing of the project.

The project cost, at today’s exchange rates, is $79.7M, broken down as follows (in US dollars)

$20.88M Sustainable Development Technology Canada
$13.54M Natural Resources Canada’s Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program
$7.74M Investissement Québec
$17.02M Government of Québec

In addition, the Québec Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks has reserved 170,000 green tonnes of residues from government forests for the plant.

The project partners are supplying the remaining $20.52 million, and  Ensyn owns 50% of the equity.

Timeline to completion

The project is expected to complete construction in December and will be commissioned in 2017.  All product from the plant will be exported to the US to take advantage of incentives for low-carbon intensity fuels available under the Renewable Fuel Standard and the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

Asked if he would like to see a system for RINs in Canada, Jacobs said that if countries want to reduce carbon intensity of fuels, that a government scheme is useful and needed. But he cautioned that he preferred the openness, and transparency of a Low Carbon Fuel Standard to the kind of structures established under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

” If you can’t meaure it, you can’t manage it,” Jacobs said. “If we want to reduce carbon in transportation, then put in a neutral system that allows us to directly address the problem. Let’s not create structure frameworks that are indirect subsidies to other industries.”

More about Ensyn’s technology

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