CRIBE invests up to $1.5 million in Ensyn's innovative biofuels plant

RENFREW, ON, April 4, 2014 /CNW/ - 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' Renfrew 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 litres to 13 Million litres 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 US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently approved Ensyn's Renfrew plant as a registered facility under the US Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS2) 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 US 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 7th, 2014 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 fibres 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".

The Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy is a provincial initiative to transform the forest products industry in Northern Ontario. We're an independent, not-for-profit research corporation, with $25 million in funding provided by the government of Ontario, that partners closely with other relevant organizations to provide support to direct and turn research results and innovative business opportunities into operational realities. CRIBE will help the bio-economy to play a central role in the metamorphosis of Northern Ontario's future - creating jobs, opportunity and prosperity.

Ensyn is a producer of advanced cellulosic biofuels and is increasing production capacity of RFO, its principal biofuel product, to meet demand.  RFO is a renewable heating fuel and is also a refinery feedstock for the production of transportation fuels. Ensyn is expanding capacity at its existing facility in Renfrew, Ontario, and is developing projects in the U.S. and Brazil.  Ensyn's RTP® technology has produced over 37 million gallons of RFO since 1989, dedicated primarily to chemicals and heating fuels; Ensyn is now increasing production in conjunction with key strategic relationships including UOP, a Honeywell company; Chevron Technology Ventures; Fibria Celulose (Brazil), and Felda Palm Industries (Malaysia).

SOURCE CRIBE (Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy)

For further information:

Lorne Morrow, CRIBE CEO (807) 620-6850 lorne.morrow@cribe.ca

David Boulard, President, Ensyn Technologies Inc., (613) 248 2257, dboulard@ensyn.com