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Alberta’s forestry waste to become renewable energy

Scrap treetops and branches from forestry operations in Alberta will soon have the potential to become electri...


October 27, 2009
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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Scrap treetops and branches from forestry operations in Alberta will soon have the potential to become electricity. The Government of Alberta is providing $25 million to develop a waste-to-energy production facility in the Town of Drayton Valley, Alta.

The Otoka Energy Corporation is receiving a $20-million grant from Alberta’s share of the Canada ecoTrust for Clean Air and Climate Change to build the facility. The project also received $5 million in July 2009 through Alberta’s Biorefining Commercialization and Market Development Program, a program administered by Alberta Energy.

Otoka’s Drayton Valley Energy Campus will convert 380,000 tonnes of wood waste into electricity each year. By using a renewable source to produce energy, the project is expected to reduce Alberta’s greenhouse gases by about 400,000 tonnes each year.

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“We are thrilled to be recognized by the province of Alberta as part of the climate change solution,” said Otoka president and CEO Michael Muston.

The Edmonton Journal reported on Oct. 15 that construction for the first phase of the project is expected to take 18 months. The first phase will use gasification to produce electricity. According to Otoka, later phases will add a methanogenic reactor to produce natural gas and an upgrader to produce ethanol.