Facility co-located with waste-to-power conversion research facility
Construction has begun on a 40 million litres per year fuel ethanol plant in Hairy Hill, AB, located 39 kms north of Vegreville.
The $50 million biorefinery will process high-starch feed grain from local farmers. In addition to the fuel ethanol, each year the biorefinery will generate 10,000 tonnes of premium biofertilizer and more than 100,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emission credits. The project is owned by privately held Growing Power Hairy Hill LP of Vegreville.
The biorefinery will purchase 110,000 tonnes of high-starch wheat and treat over 120,000 tonnes of feedlot manure.
“Growing Power is now in position to give its producer investors the market that we promised them for their non-food grade starch crops. And we will do so at a premium price. Not only are we pleased to help diversify local farmers’ planting and selling options,” said Growing Power GM Mike Kotelko.
“But we are also immensely happy about diversifying the county of Two Hills No.21 micro-economy in terms of high skilled jobs…both during construction and in the upcoming, on-going, permanent operations for years and years to come.”
The cattle feed will be pumped in liquid form to a local feed lot, thus removing the expensive, energy-consuming drying of the liquid distillers grains. Using both ends of the cow, the company will also collect some 250 tons per day of manure to supply feedstock for a one-megawatt biogas plant that will produce green electricity, steam and hot water for the biorefinery. Excess power will be sold into the Alberta electrical grid.
The entire process is highly integrated and targeted to be the most energy efficient method of producing fuel ethanol.
The company selected FWS Group of Winnipeg as the general contractor. The slip forms for the foundations are going in, and concrete is currently being poured. Construction is expected to be completed by mid-2013.
The recently created BioWaste to Energy for Canada Integration Initiative Corporation Clean Energy Centre will be located on land provided by Growing Power Hairy Hill near the biorefinery. A combined federal-provincial investment of $8.4 million under the Canada-Alberta Western Economic Partnership Agreement provided the funding for the project.
The Centre is a waste-to-energy cluster designed to enhance and deliver technologies to market through a collaborative model. Eight members, including Grant MacEwan University and Calgary-based Symbiotic EnviroTek Inc., make up the BECii.
BECii’s vision is unique in the North American waste-to-energy sector,” said Evan Chrapko, president and CEO of the BioWaste to Energy for Canada Integration Initiative. “
BECii will help defray the cost of commercializing new combinations of technology and allow companies to scale-up to meet industry demands in both the domestic and international market on a much more timely and meaningful basis.”
The research laboratories will use agricultural and municipal wastes, including animal carcasses, manure and food-processing wastes to demonstrate and commercialize technologies for converting these wastes to anaerobic biogas for energy production and bio-fertilizers.
Alberta produces approximately 20 million tonnes of annual waste in potential feedstock. Small and medium-sized companies developing waste-to-energy conversion processes and technologies will be able to co-locate in Hairy Hill to take advantage of industrial land in close proximity to one another and tap into shared infrastructure and expertise.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Markham began his journalism career writing columns in the mid-1980s for Western People Magazine, then reported for a small Saskatchewan daily. He has spent most of his career in media and communications, likes to dabble in politics, was actively involved in economic development for many years, thinks that what goes on in the community is just as important as what happens provincially and nationally, and has a soft spot for small business (big business, not so much). Markham is a bit of a contrarian and usually has a unique take on the events of the day.