Enerkem announces plans to enter the United States with next-generation biofuels project in Mississippi

    Project will allow the recycling and conversion of 60% of Three Rivers
    region's waste material

    MONTREAL, March 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Enerkem Inc., a leading advanced
biofuels and green chemicals technology company, today announced its plans to
build and operate a second-generation biofuels production facility located in
Pontotoc, Mississippi, USA. In addition, the company announced the signature
of a Memorandum of Intent with the Three Rivers Solid Waste Management
Authority of Mississippi (TRSWMA) for the supply of approximately 189,000 tons
of unsorted municipal solid waste (MSW) per year for use as feedstock at the
Pontotoc facility.
    Plans call for the plant to be built, owned and operated by Enerkem
Mississippi Biofuels, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Enerkem. It is expected to
produce 20 million gallons per year of next-generation ethanol using a mix of
feedstock comprised of wood residues from regional forest and agricultural
operations, as well as urban biomass such as municipal solid waste,
construction and demolition debris, and treated wood. In addition to the
biofuels production facility, the investment includes an upstream municipal
solid waste recycling and pre-treatment center. The total project represents a
US$250 million investment. The Enerkem process will recycle and convert
approximately 60% of the MSW that crosses the gate at the Three Rivers
landfill. The majority of the MSW will be converted into biofuels and the
remainder will be distributed to recycling processors. The overall project is
expected to create 150 long-term direct and indirect jobs, and to generate an
additional 300 jobs during the construction and start-up phases.
    "We are pleased to collaborate with the northern Mississippi community on
building an unprecedented advanced biofuels project. The project, our first in
the United States, will leverage the expertise we've gained both at our
large-scale pilot facility and at our first commercial plant," said Vincent
Chornet, President and Chief Executive Officer of Enerkem. "This project is
unique in that it uses a mix of municipal solid waste - which has negative
cost - and wood residues as feedstock, allowing Enerkem to achieve substantial
commercial scale and favorable economics."
    Enerkem is working closely with the Three Rivers Planning and Development
District, which is responsible for the administration of the Three Rivers
Solid Waste Management Authority landfill site in Pontotoc, Mississippi, where
the facility would be located. Enerkem and TRSWMA have signed a Memorandum of
Intent and are in the process of negotiating final financial and binding
agreements. The company is also developing strong ties with local
organizations and associations including the Mississippi State University,
which will be collaborating on future R&D efforts with Enerkem, the
Mississippi Loggers Association, the Mississippi Development Authority and the
Mississippi Technology Alliance.
    "We are very excited by this project as it will create green jobs,
contribute to the rural economy in northern Mississippi and give us the
opportunity to become an important player in the next-generation biofuels
industry, while enabling the local governments of the Three Rivers region to
provide major recycling at no additional cost to its citizens", said Randy
Kelley, Executive Director of the Three Rivers Planning and Development
District. "This biofuels facility will also provide environmental benefits by
transforming our municipal solid waste into a locally produced green fuel."
    Enerkem has designed a technology platform that is feedstock-flexible and
can produce an array of valuable advanced transportation fuels, green
chemicals and renewable electricity. Enerkem's renewable fuels represent a new
technology path towards environmentally friendly energy, contributing to the
reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by using materials that would otherwise
produce methane when landfilled, and by producing a renewable fuel for cars,
buses and trucks. Unlike first-generation biofuels, or agrofuels, which are
produced from sugar-rich crops such as corn and sugar cane, Enerkem's
second-generation biofuels are produced from biomass and waste materials.

    About Enerkem

    Enerkem (www.enerkem.com) is leading the development and production of
next-generation biofuels and green chemicals with its unique gasification,
sequential gas conditioning and catalysis technology capable of using a mix of
feedstock such as sorted municipal solid waste, forest biomass and
agricultural residues. The company is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, and
has engineering offices in Sherbrooke, Quebec. It has a pilot plant in
operation since 2003 in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Its first commercial-scale ethanol
plant based in Westbury, Quebec, is in its start-up phase and the company will
soon begin the construction of a third plant in Edmonton, Alberta, that will
transform sorted household waste into biofuels. Enerkem is a private company
financed by leading US venture capital firms Rho Ventures and Braemar Energy
Ventures, the Canadian investment fund BDR Capital and the Company's

For further information:

For further information: Marie-Hélène Labrie, Vice-President, Government
Affairs and Communications, Enerkem Inc., (514) 875-0284 x231,

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