Construction of Quebec biomethane project underway

By Infrastructure Canada & Government of Quebec | December 27, 2016

Officials of the governments of Canada and Quebec visited the city of Varennes on Dec. 19 to break ground for construction of the biomethanation facilities of the Société d'économie mixte de l'est de la couronne sud (SEMECS).

The SEMECS project will facilitate the treatment of organic waste generated by residents of the regional county municipalities of La Vallée-du-Richelieu, Marguerite-D'Youville and Rouville. The new biomethanation facilities will be able to efficiently reclaim organic material from various sources and convert it into renewable fuel, i.e. biogas.

Once purified, the biogas will be used as fuel for the Quebec GreenField Ethanol Inc. refinery, and will replace a portion of the natural gas that the company uses in its processes. In addition, farmers who sell their crops to the refinery will be able to use the digestate produced in the biomethanation process as an organic amendment. Local residents will be able to have their food waste, green waste and septic tank sludge treated by local firms rather than having it sent for disposal.

This biomethanation project demonstrates the synergy created through the implementation of green technology, which will contribute to the fight against climate change and help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while at the same time producing energy and fertilizer.

"The government of Canada is proud to join with the government of Quebec to support the construction of this green infrastructure in Varennes,” said Michel Picard, parliamentary secretary for the minister of public safety and emergency preparedness. “Projects such as this one generate significant benefits for the environment, in particular, by contributing to the fight against climate change."

"I am pleased to participate today in the initial groundbreaking ceremony marking the start of construction of biomethanation facilities here in Varennes,” said David Heurtel, minister of sustainable development, the environment and the fight against climate change. “This project will eventually divert 35,000 metric of organic matter from disposal in landfills each year. Through the construction of this green infrastructure, organic matter can now be converted into biogas and digestate, which will promote economic development, while directly helping to achieve our objectives in the fight against climate change.”

The government of Canada is committed to investing up to $16.2 million from the Green Infrastructure Fund to build the biomethanation facilities, and the government du Québec is contributing up to $14.3 million under the Program for Processing Organic Matter Using Biomethanization and Composting.  The total estimated cost is $57.8 million.