Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nipawin Biomass Cellulose Ethanol project overview

Developer: Nipawin Biomass Ethanol New Generation Co‐operative Ltd. (“Nipawin Biomass”)

Location: Town of Nipawin in North-East Saskatchewan, Canada

Type of facility: Biomass cellulose ethanol plant

Strategic Partners:

1. Saskatchewan Research Council (“SRC”)
2. Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc.
3. Shore Gold Inc.

Feedstock: The facility will process non‐merchantable waste timber and local farm fibre (flax/straw) into ethanol. The facility will require approximately 200,000 oven dried metric tonnes of cellulosic fibre per year, approximately two‐thirds of which would come from forest residue supplied by Shore Gold Inc. and the remainder from farmers in the local area. Shore Gold Inc., a mining company developing a nearby diamond mine have entered into an MOU with Nipawin Biomass to deliver the excess trees to the facility to be converted to ethanol. First Nations people and businesses will be involved in the clearing, removal and transportation of the waste wood.

Pre-feasibility Study complete? Yes.

Proposed capacity: 75 million litres/year

Estimated capital budget: $30-50 million CAD

Proprietary technology: Nipawin Biomass and SRC have jointly developed a proprietary conversion technology which will process synthesis gas from waste wood and farm fibre, such as flax fibre or straw, into ethanol and other alcohols.

Why this project is important: The facility will be among the first in the world to convert cellulose into ethanol. The catalytic conversion process developed by Nipawin Biomass and SRC is being integrated into California-based Fulcrum Energy Inc.’s proprietary process for converting municipal solid waste into ethanol. Fulcrum is on track to complete their first plant in 2013 in Nevada and will become one of the first companies to commercially produce ethanol from municipal solid waste.

Current status of project: Nipawin Biomass and SRC signed an agreement in fall 2011 to help complete the cellulosic ethanol plant. The agreement outlines the next series of development requirements for engineering support to advance the design for the Nipawin Biomass cellulose ethanol facility. SRC is currently undertaking this work and a report is expected in 2012.

Next steps: Once Fulcum completes their first plant in Nevada, Nipawin Biomass aims to follow closely behind Fulcrum and to be ready to begin construction of their facility in Saskatchewan within a few months of completion of the Nevada facility.

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