Apr. 28, 2011, Sault Ste. Marie, ON – The
Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy (CRIBE) is investing
$923,261 to expand Elementa Group's pre-commercial demonstration plant in Sault
Ste. Marie to use forest biomass. The current Elementa process uses municipal
solid waste to produce a high-quality synthetic gas (syngas). The funding will
allow Elementa to make necessary modifications to begin using forest biomass as
an additional feedstock. Converting this plant to also use forest biomass as a
feedstock will demonstrate the viability of forest residue as a renewable
energy source. Elementa currently employs 20 people, and the addition of forest
biomass to the process is expected to create five to six direct jobs.
"Sault Ste. Marie is surrounded by an
abundant supply of renewable forest biomass and residual waste. Instead of this
waste counting as an overhead cost to the industry, now we can convert it into
a renewable energy source," says Frank Dottori, chair of the CRIBE Board.
"Sault Ste. Marie has a rich history
in the forestry industry so it is very fitting that this city be the home of
biomass innovation," states Elementa CEO, Jay Zwierschke. “The Ontario
government, through the forward thinking leaders of CRIBE, have demonstrated
leadership in their support for alternative energy and technology development.
We are truly delighted to partner with them as we advance forest biomass
testing in Sault Ste. Marie. Elementa is preparing to showcase forest biomass
waste as a new generation of our waste-to-energy technology that will re-shape
the biomass industry by creating a variety of value added energy
CRIBE is a provincial initiative to transform the forest products industry in northern Ontario.