Expander Energy, Vanderwell get key permit to build Canada’s first biomass-gas-to-liquids plant

Sawdust. (Reference image by Devon Delrio, Pixy, CC0).

Alberta Environment and Parks granted Expander Energy and Vanderwell Contractors (1971) the environmental permit required to begin the construction of their Slave Lake biomass-gas-to-liquids proposed project, located in the northern part of the Canadian province.

The project consists in establishing Canada’s first biomass-gas-to-liquids plant adjacent to Vanderwell’s sawmill site in the Mitsue Industrial Park.

The $30-million plant is expected to initially produce over 6.5 million liters per year of low-carbon intensity, clean-burning synthetic diesel fuel made from sawmill and forestry residuals. Once fully operational, the goal is to expand it so that it reaches over 20 million litres per year.  

The $30-million plant is expected to produce synthetic diesel fuel made from sawmill and forestry residuals

Marketable hydrogen is also expected to be generated as a byproduct of the SynDiesel production process.

According to the companies, the project is well underway with construction set to begin in late 2021. 

“This is a significant step in meeting both the Provincial and Federal Government mandates that require diesel fuel to meet progressively more stringent carbon intensity limits,” Expander and Vanderwell said in a media statement. “To date, nearly all low carbon intensity diesel fuel has been supplied from Asia and the USA due to lack of domestic supply. The Slave Lake biomass to diesel facility will be one of the first facilities in Canada to supply this need domestically.”

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