Shell, Valent invest in Canadian biofuel plant
The Canada-based Forge Hydrocarbons Corp. announced last week it will move forward with plans to build a US$23 million, commercial-scale, biofuel production plant in Sombra, Ontario, boosted by an equity investment from Shell Ventures and additional funding from Valent Low-Carbon Technologies.
In 2018, Forge, a biofuel startup, received a $4 million investment from Lockheed Martin enabling the company to further develop its patented lipid-to-hydrocarbon (LTH) technology. Developed by University of Alberta professor Dr. David Bressler, LTH produces renewable jet fuel, diesel and naphtha from abundant, low-cost and often untapped lipid feedstocks, nonedible oils, waste vegetable oil, animal fats, industrial wastes and by-products. While most biofuels are generally only up to 80% less carbon intensive than conventional jet fuel, LTH biofuel has the potential to reduce carbon emissions by more than 90%.
Construction of the Forge plant, which will have an annual capacity of 7.5 million gallons of biofuel, is expected to employ 150 construction workers and engineers, and create 45 full-time jobs when it’s fully operational in early 2021.
“We are saying it’s going to be 7.5 million gallons, which isn’t a big plant, but 7.5 million gallons on an annualized basis,” said Forge President and CEO Tim Haig. “It’s likely they’ll produce more than that. We’re finishing up the engineering and we will know more over the next few months.”