CRIBE announces investment in Ensyn Technologies' Ontario plant

By Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy | April 08, 2014

The Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy (CRIBE) is providing an investment of up to $1.5 million to leverage a total project value of up to $4 million to enhance Ensyn Technologies Inc.'s Renfrew, Ontario, facility by increasing production capacity and making it a first-of-its-kind dedicated biofuels plant.

By enhancing their existing facility in Renfrew, Ensyn will have a fast-to-market option for delivery of their petroleum-replacement liquid biofuel produced from forest residues to heating oil customers in Quebec and Northeastern United States.  

This investment will secure the 14 existing full time staff in Renfrew, as well as add 14 full-time positions as the plant is brought up to full production capacity. Capacity at the facility will be increased from approximately 3 million liters to 13 million liters of RFO annually.

Ensyn’s biofuels business is based on the conversion of wood and other non-food, cellulosic biomass to advanced cellulosic biofuels.  Ensyn’s principal product is RFO, a liquid biofuel that is a heating fuel and is also a feedstock for refineries for the production of gasoline and diesel. 

The U.S. EPA has recently approved Ensyn’s Renfrew plant as a registered facility under the U.S. renewable fuel standards (RFS) program.  Ensyn will now be able to produce cellulosic biofuel that will be eligible for credits under the program. This has significantly accelerated customer demand from U.S. clients.

The CRIBE funding will support capital investment at Ensyn’s facility in Renfrew to meet this immediate demand. This targeted capital investment will address the following:

- Enhance and expand the feedstock receiving, drying and preparation;
- Enhance the RFO fuel conditioning process; and
- Improve the RFO fuel handling capabilities.

On March 7 Ensyn announced an initial contract for the supply of RFO from the enhanced production capacity at Renfrew.  Ensyn signed a five year contract with Memorial Hospital of North Conway, New Hampshire for the supply of RFO for heating purposes, replacing petroleum-based fuels.

“Through CRIBE, Ontario is investing in bio-mass research and innovation not just in Northern Ontario, but throughout the province,” said Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation. “Companies like Ensyn Technologies are leading the way, creating the next generation of renewable fuels, along with jobs and opportunities that will help ensure Ontario’s future prosperity."

“This project represents a critical step in our biofuels development process” said David Boulard, president of Ensyn Technologies. “Although Ensyn has had commercial operations for many years, and while the Renfrew facility has served us well as a commercial merchant facility for contract production and business development, Renfrew will be our first commercial facility dedicated to biofuel production and will allow us to accelerate the development of market demand.  We are pleased that CRIBE has elected to help us on this important project.”   

“Ensyn has been a leader in the development and commercialization of innovative products and materials derived from wood based fibers through application of its RTP technology,” said Lorne Morrow, CEO of CRIBE. “This strategic investment by CRIBE not only supports the future of Ensyn’s Renfrew RTP facility but also supports wood based forest industries in the area through the increased use of forest residue at the Renfrew facility.”