Prince George may become home to two innovative green technology projects, as a pair of proposed biomass and biofuel plants are being considered for the city.
Canfor, Canfor Pulp and Paper and Licella, an Australian company, are behind a joint venture called Arbios Biotech which would use post-consumer biomass to produce advanced biofuels.
Arbios is also working on integrating its technology with a Nova Scotia-based company called Sustane that has developed a new recycling process for municipal waste that diverts waste from landfills and transforms it into clean fuel products and recyclable materials.
“We are existing to work in collaboration with companies like Sustane at a circular economy solution ideally one that is regionally based and targets recovered wood and biomass products,” said Alan Nicholl, Chief Financial Officer for Canfor Pulp Products.
The idea is that Sustane would produce biomass fuel from recovered municipal waste and deliver it to Arbios who would then use it as feedstock for producing biofuels.
Nicholl says Arbios technology can process a wide range of feedstocks including wood-based residues and Sustane’s biogenic pellets and the carbon intensity of Arbios biofuel is 70 to 80 per cent less than fossil-fuel-based gasoline and diesel.
“Canfor and Canfor Pulp are very excited to be looking at investing in Arbios it is very closely aligned with our sustainable and innovation focus which clearly in these times is taking our attention right now.”
Nicholl says Prince George has been selected as the preferred site for the first Arbios plant, which would be located at Canfor’s Intercontinental Pulp Mill.
“At full capacity, it will generate meaningful employment with 150 jobs and 600 indirect jobs and on top of that it will give employment through construction,” said Nicholl.
The Sustane plant would also be located at the same site with a conveyor to the Arbios facility and would employ about 25 people.
“We have been working with Canfor and Arbios for a while trying to figure out how to integrate our technologies,” said Peter Vinall, president of Sustane, during the presentation.
“Our process delivers up to 90 per cent diversion meaning 90 per cent of what goes into the landfill doesn’t need to go into the landfill it can be reused in some form.”
He says this would reduce greenhouse gas emission by 10 per cent in Prince George and that there’s potential to shift the region to become a world leader in waste diversion.