Suncor Energy is resuming the expansion of its St. Clair Ethanol Plant near Sarnia, Ontario.
The $120 million construction project, expected to be completed in late 2010 or early 2011, will double the plant’s current ethanol production capacity from 200 to 400 million litres per year.
“This is great news for Suncor, for Southern Ontario and for Canada,” said Rick George, president and CEO. “We’re excited about the prospect of increasing our alternative fuel production and exploring future opportunities to integrate ethanol into our expanded retail operations.”
Renewable fuel development in Ontario has grown as a result of collaboration between private industry projects and public sector support; further industry growth will require continued partnerships. Since 2006, Suncor’s St. Clair Ethanol Plant has contributed to the development of a competitive domestic industry for renewable fuels. This has been supported historically by Suncor’s blending of ethanol into gasoline sales volumes at up to 10% in Ontario.
The project will benefit the Sarnia-Lambton area through the creation of 350 jobs during construction and 15 new jobs to operate the expanded plant, as well as supporting demand for feedstock-about 40 million bushels of corn annually-from local farmers.
“The St. Clair facility is the platform for growth of Suncor’s biofuels portfolio and today’s announcement not only reinforces our commitment to increasing renewable energy options in Canada, but builds on the strength of local relationships forged in St. Clair Township and the Sarnia-Lambton Region,” said Jay Thornton, executive vice president, energy supply, trading & development.
The expanded St. Clair Ethanol Plant, along with Suncor’s investment in four wind power projects across Canada, is expected to offset nearly one million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year-the equivalent of the annual tailpipe emissions of about 200,000 cars.