A Mississauga-based maker of specialized membranes capable of separating olefin and paraffin says it plans to build a new $15-million facility in Sarnia’s Chemical Valley.
Imtex Membranes Corp. expects the facility to be operating in the next year and a half, an announcement made on the heels of a $6-million investment through Sustainable Development Technology Canada.
“Imtex’s unique membrane technology uses less energy and creates less waste, resulting in cleaner air for Canadians and lower operating costs for companies,” said Navdeep Bains, minister of innovation, science and economic development, in the announcement.
Karlis Vasarais, CEO of Imtex Membranes, said development of the technology has been proceeding over the eight years the firm has been in business.
The first step in Sarnia will be the construction of a demonstration plant, where Imtex clients can run their own feedstock, providing a long-term test of the company’s process.
From there a full-size plant will be built.
The demonstration facility has a target employment of about 20 workers, most of those being operators. Eventually a commercial facility would employ about 50.
Sarnia came to the forefront as a site when it was suggested by officials from Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, the Sarnia-based development accelerator.
“We underestimated the value proposition that Sarnia could provide a company like Imtex,” said Vasarais.
Having the appropriate infrastructure at the Arlanxeo facility was key to the decision to move forward.
Stephen Thompson, CEO of the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership, said the decision is a recognition of the area’s reputation as an outstanding location for emerging technologies like that of Imtex.