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NS biofuel company plans to grow

Cellufuel's plan to open a demonstration biofuel facility in Nova Scotia, this summer is just the first step of an ambitious industrial enterprise intent on having 10 plants within five to six years producing $200 million in annual revenue.


January 16, 2013
By The Chronicle Herald

The Halifax company captured media attention late last year when the provincial government said it would set up a facility in the former Bowater Mersey paper mill in Brooklyn, which had just closed due to weak demand for paper. The biofuel facility, financed in part from a $500,000 contribution from the provincial government, will be the company’s first plant producing biodiesel from wood.

But the Cellufuel story has the potential to be far bigger than what was reported last month, according to The Chronicle Herald.

“One of the reasons we’ve focused on this technology — and believe me, we’ve looked at lots of alternatives — is it is so energy efficient,” said Cellufuel CEO Chris Hooper in an interview. “Wood is about 80 per cent efficient in converting to diesel. Burning wood is only 20 per cent efficient.”

Cellufuel now plans to open a demonstration facility in Brooklyn this summer, which will have a capacity to produce about one million litres of diesel annually. Given that this is the first biofuel plant to rely completely on wood as a feedstock, the founders hope it will validate the technology.

Hooper and his partners then hope to establish a larger facility with a 20-million-litre capacity somewhere in Eastern Canada, which it hopes will be in production in the spring of 2014. Within five years after that they hope to have about 10 of these plants, concentrated in Eastern Canada. Hooper said the company plans to locate them close to the source of wood to reduce the costs of shipping the feedstock.

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