Montreal, Quebec – A facility that will produce biofuels and green chemicals from sorted municipal solid waste has been approved in Edmonton, Alberta. The plant will be the first of its kind in North America.

Waste-to-biofuels technology company Enerkem announced that Enerkem GreenField Alberta Biofuels (EGAB) has successfully completed the necessary environmental regulatory process and has been granted a permit to commence construction of a commercial facility.

“This is North America’s first unconditional commercial permit ever awarded to produce advanced biofuels from sorted municipal solid waste,” said Vincent Chronet, president and CEO. “This unprecedented project is set to change the dynamics of the waste and fuel industries by making waste, that would otherwise be landfilled, a resource for transportation fuels. The City of Edmonton is a leader in waste management and is now pioneering this solution which is to become a model for cities around the globe.”

The permit was granted by Alberta Environment, under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act of the Province of Alberta. The project successfully met all required regulatory environmental standards, including air emissions.

In 2008, EGAB entered into a 25-year agreement with the city to build and operate a waste-to-biofuels facility on municipal land, and to receive the city’s sorted municipal solid waste as feedstock. The city will supply 100,000 tonnes of waste per year. It is the end-waste after recycling and composting, and would otherwise go to a landfill.

Construction of the biofuels facility is expected to begin by the end of 2009, at a total cost of approximately $70 million. The city and province are contributing a combined $20 million to its production. Upon completion, the plant will initially produce 36 million litres of ethanol per year.

Connect with Autos.ca