New plant will make biodiesel from waste fats

$25-m Sombra operation would take shape on part of plant bought last year

A 25-million litre capacity plant that would occupy a small slice of a 24-acre site purchased from Methes Energies last year has been announced by Forge Hydrocarbons.

Tim Haig, founder and a former CEO of BIOX, which now owns the site, is the president of Forge Hydrocarbons. The company currently has a plant in Hamilton and operates a joint venture in Houston.

BIOX is expected to spend $5 million to upgrade the Methes plant in order to increase its efficiency.

Alan Rickard, the current CEO of BIOX, said the move by Forge Hydrocarbons is a welcome one, especially in that it would bring more activity to the site.

The move also supports a “clustering” strategy supported by the province and federal government. “They want to see like projects working together,” said Rickard.

The technology used by Forge is said to produce renewable diesel that generates 90% less greenhouse gases than conventional diesel.

Officials say construction for the new project is likely to begin within two months, with production to begin the second half of 2018.

The site near Sombra would be the firm’s first commercial scale plant. The technology, which was developed at the University of Alberta, is able to turn waste fats and other “low-value” organic oils into fuel, without the need for catalyst or hydrogen.

A pilot plant in Edmonton is already being operated by Forge Hydrocarbons, which received a $4.2 million federal grant from Sustainable Development Technology Canada.

Haig has said the market for the technology is unlimited, as long as they can make renewable diesel “at prices people want.”

Get the Lambton Shield Daily Brief in your inbox:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.