CIB provides $277 loan to Varennes Carbon Recycling project

By Erin Voegele | March 28, 2023

The Canadian Infrastructure Bank on March 27 announced it will provide a $277 million loan to a joint-venture partnership between Shell, Suncor, Proman and the government of Quebec that will enable construction of a large-scale biorefinery based on Enerkem technology.

 The $1.2 billion facility, known as Varennes Carbon Recycling, will include an electrolyzer that will supply clean hydrogen and oxygen to convert more than 200,000 metric tons of non-recyclable waste and residual biomass into biofuel using Enerkem’s proprietary thermochemical waste-to-methanol process. The facility will have the capacity to produce up to 130 million liters (34.34 million gallons) of biofuel annually.

Development of the VCR project was initially announced by Enerkem and its partners in late 2020. Construction on the project kicked off in 2021. Commercial operations are currently expected to begin in 2025.

Earlier this month, Accelera by Cummins, a business segment of Cummins Inc., announced it has been selected by VCR to supply a 90-megawatt (MW) proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer system for the facility. The electrolyzer system will be comprised of four HyLYZER-5000s—Accelera’s largest electrolyzer product. According to Cummins, each HyLYZER-5000 utilizes 25 MW of electricity and can produce up to 10 tons of hydrogen per day.

The electrolyzer system splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. The VCR plan will use renewable hydrogen and oxygen produced by the electrolyzers to recycle carbon and hydrogen from waste materials.