Company announces plans to set up commercial-scale plant in Sarnia

Advanced Chemical Technologies says it will use carbon dioxide to make methanol, with operations to start by 2020

Another company is bringing good news to Sarnia-Lambton with the announcement of plans to construct a commercial-scale demonstration plant in the TransAlta Bluewater Energy Park.

Advanced Chemical Technologies of Waterloo, Ont., said it will produce methanol using carbon dioxide emissions from local chemical plants.

An official from Advanced Chemical Technologies said plans are to have the plant start production in 2020.

“Once it is successfully demonstrated economic vitality, we have follow-on plans for a large-scale plant,” said Doug Beynon, president and CEO.

The second plant would employ about 100 workers.

The company uses proven technologies that involve using carbon dioxide as well as natural gas, water, and electricity, producing methanol with a reduced carbon footprint.

Beynon said that while technology has already been demonstrated as successful, the first plant will see to demonstrate its economic viability.

It has been suggested that industries in Sarnia that emit carbon dioxide would be able to reduce or eliminate their carbon tax under provincial and federal legislation.

Its product—methanol—is a base chemical with a variety of uses, including as a fuel. Methanol is also used to produce other chemical products.

Beynon said the company produces a “greener” version of methanol.

“It’s got a fairly significant effect on both sides of the value chain,” he said.

A local group, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, said it has been working with Advanced Chemical Technologies on technical and economic feasibility studies to address commercial barriers to constructing the demonstration facility.

Sandy Marshall, executive director of BIC, said the news is further recognition of the potential for the area.

Beynon, who grew up in Sarnia, said the company selected its site because of the infrastructure available as well as the supply of carbon dioxide from plants in the Chemical Valley.

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