Canadian Biomass Magazine

News Biofuels
Indigenous coalition and clean energy company partner for net-zero GHG projects


May 21, 2021
By Touchwood Agency Tribal Council & Rainforest Energy

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Touchwood Agency Tribal Council (TATC) and Rainforest Energy Corp. (RFEC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the joint evaluation and development of clean energy in the TATC member territory.

TATC members include Day Star, George Gordon, Kawakatoose, and Muskowekwan First Nations in Saskatchewan.

The feasibility evaluation will be conducted to site a $250-million clean energy project at Punnichy, Sask. It involves the conversion of Indigenous-sourced waste biomass and natural gas into 87 million litres-per-year of low-carbon gasoline, jet fuel and propane.

Straw, hemp residue, logging slash, and additional sources that would otherwise be burned or left to decay, thereby avoiding GHG emissions, are among the biomass to be evaluated.

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Air emissions associated with incinerating biomass to produce electricity are avoided in the process. RFEC is currently in offtake discussions with major crude oil refiners which need low-carbon fuel output to blend down its fossil fuel sales to meet the Canadian Clean Fuel Standard. RFEC’s other projects will be evaluated by TATC for the consideration of participating alongside other Indigenous Nations.

“We are pleased to see an opportunity to walk the talk on protecting Mother Earth,” Rod Favel, economic development program manager of TATC, said. “The 40 permanent jobs at each clean energy facility and the potential 250 additional jobs with connected ventures will make a difference in our communities.”

Pete Lafontaine, executive chair of RFEC, said  the company’s intention is to demonstrate how to build out viable, clean energy projects in equal partnership with Indigenous communities.

Jeff Arsenych, president & CEO of RFEC, said, “Technology does not make projects happen – people do. Indigenous partnerships are an essential foundation for a circular economy.”