Montreal, Quebec – Biofuels and biochemicals technology Enerkem Inc. has announced the start-up phase of its first commercial-scale plant, located in Westbury, Quebec, with production of its clean conditioned synthesis gas. 

The “syngas” island, now in preparation for its upcoming start-up, will serve as the chemical production platform from which methanol and ethanol production modules will be added progressively over the next months. Once these gas-to-liquid modules are bolted to the syngas island, Enerkem will become the first producer of liquid fuels and green chemicals to commercially use renewable, non-food, negative-cost feedstock.

Construction on the plant began in October 2007, and the facility was mechanically completed in December 2008.

The Westbury plant will be the world’s first ethanol plant to use treated wood from used electricity poles as feedstock. At term, the plant will produce five million litres of second-generation ethanol annually. The process uses one tonne of waste to produce 360 litres of ethanol, or enough fuel for a car to travel the distance from Winnipeg to Montreal.

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