Canadian Biomass Magazine

News Biofuels
Greenfield takes next steps to expand production at Varennes biorefinery


October 15, 2019
By Greenfield Global

Topics

Greenfield Global Inc., Canada’s largest ethanol producer and a world leader in high-purity specialty alcohols, welcomed the government of Quebec’s pre-publication of draft regulations on the minimum volume of renewable fuel in gasoline and diesel fuel. Announced this week, the government’s proposal would set blending thresholds of 10 per cent renewable fuel in gasoline and two per cent in diesel fuel by 2021 and increase the thresholds to 15 per cent in gasoline and four per cent in diesel fuel, respectively, by 2025.

Jean Roberge, Greenfield’s EVP and managing director of renewable energy, said, “Greenfield applauds the Quebec government for its ambitious targets and firm commitment to transition the province’s energy. Biofuels are indeed a sector for the future. The government is demonstrating true leadership on climate change and taking steps necessary to effectively and efficiently increase the use and production of renewable fuels, like ethanol, in the province.”

Greenfield operates the first ethanol plant built in Quebec. In operation since 2007, the Varennes biorefinery is a model for water and energy efficiency and produces the lowest carbon intensity ethanol in Canada, as well as corn oil and distillers’ grain.

The announcement of the proposed renewable fuel regulations in Quebec comes at a time when Greenfield is considering the adaptation of emerging advanced biofuels technologies using non-traditional feedstocks and processes, including cellulosic ethanol, renewable diesel, and renewable natural gas to further reduce the carbon intensity of its biofuels. The first phase of Greenfield’s expansion study was completed in 2018, and the second phase will now commence with engineering, feedstock and environmental studies.

“Provincial renewable fuel mandates, such as Quebec’s proposed regulation, are proven to make meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. It also helps to anchor investment in the region,” continued Roberge. “Quebec’s announcement to increase renewable fuel blending requirements has resulted in the launch of Phase 2 of our feasibility study for production expansion at our Varennes biorefinery.”

Phase 2 will include a thorough review of available feedstocks, engineering assessments, and new 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.