Greenfield evaluates major biofuel production expansion
August 17, 2017
By Greenfield Global Inc.
Aug. 17, 2017 - Greenfield Global Inc., (formerly GreenField Specialty Alcohols Inc.) Canada's largest ethanol producer and a world leader in high-purity specialty alcohols, has commenced a feasibility study to significantly expand operations for sustainable biofuel production at its biorefinery in Varennes, Que.
The first ethanol plant built in Quebec, the Varennes distillery is a model for waste water management and energy efficiency. The plant already produces some of the lowest carbon fuel ethanol in North America and is on its way to becoming part of a state of the art biorefinery complex. The potential expansion stands to increase its annual ethanol production capacity by 70 per cent (from 170 mly to 300 mly). The feasibility study will also incorporate the adaptation of emerging advanced biofuels technologies using non-traditional feedstocks and processes, including cellulosic ethanol, renewable diesel, and renewable natural gas.
The expansion study comes at a time when governments are seeking to reduce the harmful environmental effects of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). The Government of Canada is consulting on a national Clean Fuels Standard with an overall objective to achieve 30 megatonnes of annual reductions in GHG emissions by 2030. And, as part of its 2030 Energy Policy, Quebec’s 2017-2020 Action Plan calls for the adoption of regulations establishing the province’s first ever volumetric requirements on renewables starting at 5 per cent for gasoline and 2 per cent for diesel; as well as a 5 per cent volumetric requirement for renewable natural gas.
In commenting on the announcement, Greenfield Global’s President and CEO Howard Field stated, “Greenfield understands very well the need to produce low-carbon biofuels and renewable energy if Canada is going to meet its Paris Accord commitments. We are committed to being a strong partner in building a low-carbon economy – both through the process by which we manufacture our ethanol, and the biofuel itself. Expanding biofuels production in Varennes would make both a meaningful contribution towards achieving Canada’s GHG reduction targets, and is perfectly aligned with the goals of Quebec’s 2030 Energy Policy and 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan.”
The assessment process will include a thorough review of available feedstocks and technologies. As has always been the case, Greenfield remains focused on job creation, local environment and economic benefits, agriculture, and advancing research in developing the next generation of its biofuel production platform.
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