Top Crop Manager

Features Bioenergy Ethanol
Shell plans cellulosic ethanol plant in Manitoba

Dec. 13, 2011 - Royal Dutch Shell plc is scouting a location in southern Manitoba for potential use as a cellulosic ethanol plant.

According to an article in the Ethanol Producer magazine, the operation, entitled the Solstice Cellulosic Ethanol project, would use approximately 350 metric tons of (primarily wheat) straw per day to produce about 40 MMly (approximately 10 MMgy) of cellulosic ethanol using technology developed by Ottawa-based Iogen Corp.

Shell and Iogen have been working together since 2002 with Iogen Energy, a project to commercialize cellulosic ethanol technology using enzymatic hydrolysis.

Shell’s first location choice for the Solstice project is Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, a city of about 12,000 located an hour’s drive west of Winnipeg. According to Jeff Gabert, senior communications representative for Shell Canada Ltd., Portage’s abundant supply of available feedstock and proximity to main roadways makes it an ideal location for the plant.

The company has begun the process of completing an environmental assessment, but there’s “no ink wet” on the paperwork yet, so the process is far from being complete. An alternative site has been scouted closer to Winnipeg, but Gabert says Shell is very focused on Portage la Prairie.