Canadian Plastics

Shell invests in Quebec’s first waste to low-carbon fuel plant

The approximately $875 million Varennes Carbon Recycling project was first announced by Canadian clean tech company Enerkem in December 2020.

January 26, 2021   Canadian Plastics

Shell Canada is investing in what’s being called Quebec’s first waste to low-carbon fuel plant in the greater Montreal area.

The approximately $875 million Varennes Carbon Recycling (VCR) project was first announced by Canadian clean tech company Enerkem in December 2020.

Shell Canada has taken a 40 per cent stake in the facility, which will use technology developed by Enerkem. Other strategic partners in the project include Suncor Energy, Proman, and Hydro-Quebec.

The VCR project will be constructed in Varennes, where it will produce low-carbon fuels and renewable chemicals products from non-recyclable waste using Enerkem’s proprietary technology. Commissioning of the first phase of the facility is scheduled for 2023.

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The plant will leverage green hydrogen and oxygen produced through electrolysis, transforming Quebec’s excess hydroelectricity capacity into value-added biofuels and renewable chemicals.

Enerkem’s technology enables the recycling of the carbon and hydrogen contained in non-recyclable waste and wood waste currently landfilled and burned. Enerkem’s proprietary thermochemical process enables the conversion of this carbon into biofuels and renewable chemicals, made from methanol, which is the project’s intermediary product.

In addition to diverting waste from landfill sites, the VCR plant will expand the overall supply of alternative fuels and increase low-carbon fuels production in Quebec, accelerate greenhouse gas reduction in the transportation sector, and increase Quebec’s leadership in renewable energy and innovation.


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