Enerkem, GreenField JV Vanerco to use C$734,500 in funding from Canada to build, operate cellulosic ethanol facility in Varennes, Quebec; investment could rise to C$39.8M, with funds repayable from free-cash flow once project is commercially successful

OTTAWA, Canada , September 27, 2013 (press release) – The Government of Canada is demonstrating its commitment to stimulating innovation and job creation with an investment, through SDTC’s NextGen Biofuels FundTM, in VANERCO, the joint venture partnership formed by Enerkem and GreenField to build and operate a cellulosic ethanol facility in Varennes, Quebec. Funding from SDTC for this project, which will use Enerkem’s proprietary technology, is currently $734,500 and could reach $39.8M, repayable from free-cash flow once the project demonstrates commercial success.

“Our government is investing in advanced clean energy technologies that create well- paying jobs and generate economic opportunities,” said the Honourable 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.”

“We are proud to have SDTC as a partner in our waste-to-biofuels project in Varennes, which is one of the first integrations between an existing, first generation ethanol plant and a new cellulosic ethanol facility,” said Vincent Chornet, Chairman of VANERCO, the joint venture formed by Enerkem and GreenField. “By producing liquid transportation fuel from non-recyclable waste, this commercial facility will further contribute to the development of the next generation biofuels sector in Canada which will, in turn, stimulate the manufacturing sector as well as regional economies, create jobs, reduce oil dependence and imports, generate value from waste and residues and position Canada at the forefront of the global clean technology sector.”

Through its NextGen Biofuels FundTM, SDTC is currently contributing $734,500 for the initial front-end development phase of the project. Funding could reach $39.8 million based on project milestones and required governance approvals.

This project will use Enerkem’s thermochemical process currently being demonstrated in Westbury, QC. The production capacity of VANERCO’s full-scale projected facility in Varennes is expected to be seven times greater than that of the demonstration facility in Westbury.

Next-generation biofuels are derived from non-traditional, non-food renewable feedstocks, such as municipal waste, agricultural residues, woody biomass, and perennial crops on marginal land, and are produced through the use of novel conversion technologies.

Detailed information on the NextGen Biofuels FundTM and on how to apply is available in the Funding section of the SDTC website at www.sdtc.ca. Prior to submitting an Application for Funding (AFF), candidates should communicate their intent to SDTC by sending an email to nextgenapplications@sdtc.ca .

About SDTC – www.sdtc.ca

On behalf of the Government of Canada, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) helps move Canadian clean technologies forward, readying them for growth and export markets. With a portfolio of companies under management valued at more than $2 billion, SDTC is demonstrating that cleantech is a driver of jobs, productivity and economic prosperity.

SDTC operates two funds aimed at the development and demonstration of innovative technological solutions. The SD Tech FundTM supports projects that address climate change, air quality, clean water, and clean soil. The NextGen Biofuels FundTM supports the establishment of first-of-kind large demonstration-scale facilities for the production of next-generation renewable fuels.

SDTC works with the private sector, the financial sector and all levels of government to meet the Government of Canada’s commitment to create a healthy environment and a high quality of life for all Canadians. SDTC operates as a not-for-profit corporation.


VANERCO is a joint venture partnership formed by Enerkem (www.enerkem.com), a waste-to-biofuels and chemicals company, and GreenField www.greenfieldethanol.com), the Canadian leader in alcohol production, to build and operate Québec’s first full-scale commercial cellulosic ethanol plant. The future plant will be located in Varennes, Québec, and will use Enerkem’s proprietary technology to convert waste materials into biofuels and renewable chemicals. Its production capacity is expected to reach 38 million litres per year.

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