Giving a second life to waste

Quebec Biofuel plant rendered image

For more than 15 years, we’ve been making a significant impact in Canada’s emerging biofuels industry and we’re excited to partner on another biofuels project that will be giving a second life to waste material. 

On Dec. 8, Enerkem, along with Suncor, Shell, Proman and Hydro-Québec supplying green hydrogen, and with the support of the Québec and Canadian governments, announced they were working together on the construction of a biofuel plant in Varennes, in the Greater Montréal area. The project remains subject to finalization of certain commercial agreements. 

The new $875 million facility, Varennes Carbon Recycling (VCR), will convert non-recyclable commercial and industrial waste, as well as forestry waste to bio-fuels and renewable chemicals.

Suncor has also partnered with Enerkem at its biofuels plant in Edmonton, seconding twelve of our employees to what represents the first commercial scale facility in the world to produce renewable methanol and ethanol from municipal solid waste.

 “We’re excited to continue our journey with Enerkem, another example of our ongoing commitment to sustainability,” says Martha Hall Findlay, Chief Sustainability Officer. “Over the last few years we’ve worked together to help ramp up the Enerkem Alberta Biofuels plant and now looking to Varennes, we’re excited to progress the production of biofuels domestically and internationally.”

The VCR facility will convert more than 200,000 tonnes of waste into an annual production of nearly 130 million litres of biofuels. It will contribute to greenhouse gas reductions equivalent to removing almost 50,000 vehicles off the road annually. 

Scheduled to be operational in 2023, the plant will produce one of the lowest carbon-intensity fuels by diverting non-recyclable and non-compostable waste from landfills and by accessing green hydrogen and oxygen produced through electrolysis, leveraging Quebec’s excess hydroelectricity capacity.

“We have a long history in the Montréal area dating back to 1919 and this kind of innovative technology will help us continue to play a role in the future low-carbon economy for many more years to come,” adds Martha. 

The facility will create more than 500 jobs during construction and about 100 permanent, direct skilled jobs during operations. 

This story contains forward-looking information.  Please see Forward Looking Statements for more information.