BIC approves study funding for upcoming biodiesel plant in Sarnia

Announcement follows April's investment in Benefuel, which plans to build 75 million litre facility

Photo of a plant in Nebraska that uses the same technology to be used in a commercial-scale demonstration plant in Sarnia.

Benefuel, an alternative energy company, has received support from Bioindustrial Innovation Canada for a modular engineering study ahead of Benefuel’s planned biodiesel plant to be built in Sarnia.

The “Front-End Engineering Design” (FEED) study will provide Benefuel with a design that can be replicated and constructed by a wide-range of fabricators, say officials.

While the funding for the study was not disclosed, it follows an April announcement that BIC has invested in privately-held Benefuel.

The result will be a project with reduced costs, improved quality and lower risk. It will also speed up the ultimate building of the plant, a 75-million litre facility.

Rob Tripp, CEO of Texas-based Benefuel, said the FEED study will provide a higher degree of certainty and accuracy when it comes to the cost for the project.

“Our refining package will provide for the processing of a wide variety of low carbon and waste feedstocks, like distiller’s corn oil, used cooking oil and animal fats,” he said.

In announcing the investment in Benefuel, Sandy Marshall, executive director of BIC, said the organization has been working with Benefuel for a number of years, providing advice and services in anticipation of the decision to build the Sarnia plant.

Tripp said Benefuel will be incorporating lessons learned in a large-scale demonstration plant in Nebraska into the enhanced, modular refinery design that will serve as a foundation for future growth.

“Sarnia is an excellent choice of location due to its considerable infrastructure of services, contractors, module fabricators and overall talent pool of skilled resources for operations,” he said.

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