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Canada could see C$10m biomass projects

Canadian biomass developers are in talks with Austrian and Canadian counterparts to explore technology and partnership opportunities potentially worth C$10 million.

The opportunities have arisen following a Canadian Bioenergy Association trade mission to visit community and large-scale biomass heat and power installations in Austria and Northern Italy.

The delegation toured Güssing, Austria, which has cut carbon emissions by over 90% largely as a result of installing community heating and a large biomass-fired power plant.

Larry Donovan, President of EXL Refining at Nova Green, a Canadian company with the technology to use leftover straw to create cellulosic ethanol, says: “Talking to developers from Güssing about how they used local biomass to regenerate itself making value-added products and district heating was immensely valuable. Right now, in GreenTEC Park in Killam, Alberta, we’re planning to do the same thing using our own local biomass – straw and agricultural waste.”

Biomass projects and partnerships now being explored include:


By the province of Alberta:

  • Austria’s Polytechnik turnkey firing plant, which was being used to heat a nearby hospital, and Italy’s Uniconfort’s boiler system are being explored by the province of Alberta that wants to use municipal biomass to provide heat for a local hospital and town swimming pool;
  • Turboden, which specialises on the organic Rankin Cycle Technology, is currently installing a facility in Rosetown, Saskatchewan to capture heat from a compressor system/station and convert to useable energy. Alberta is exploring opportunities for directly applying Turboden cogeneration to oil and gas-fired plants in the province.

By GreenTEC Park, a biorefinery and biomass park under planning in Alberta:

  • Collaborating with the developers of Güssing’s biomass system in Austria. Güssing revamped its entire economy, first by implementing biomass energy from local wood and agricultural feedstocks, and then by drawing businesses to the region through stable energy prices. The concept of rural-renewal through the biomass value chain, using straw and agricultural waste feedstocks, is now under development at the GreenTEC Park in Killam, Alberta;
  • Exploring potential market in food speciality industry in Europe for two products from GreenTEC’s biorefinery.

By a large Northern Ontario woodlot owner:

  • Hoping to partner with Turboden to purchase a number of its 2.5 MW electrical generator attachments to take advantage of OPG’s Call for renewable electricity. OPG’s scheme offers the stability of a 20-year contracts. Estimates project could result in investments of C$2.5-8m.

By White River Forest Products, the Town of White River and Pic Mobert First Nation:

  • Examining prospects for installing a thermal gasification plant and several district heating plants, in line with Güssing’s revitalisation.

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