Biofuels project promises low-cost auto fuels

From The Observer

Construction will get underway soon on a $12-million demonstration plant in Sarnia that will have the potential to be the lowest cost producer of automotive fuel in North America, the company says.

Toronto-based Woodland Biofuels Inc. announced in April it would build its “cullulosic ethanol” facility at the Bioindustrial Innovation Centre at Sarnia’s UWO Research Park Campus in the fall.

Director Murray McLaughlin said delayed renovations at the centre and behind-schedule fundraising led to the setback, but he expects construction to begin soon.

“I’m hoping we’ll see some activity in the next couple months,” he said.

Woodland’s claims about producing low-cost fuel are reasonable, he added.

“The technology looks good, and that’s why we’re interested in it,” said McLaughlin, who is also a director of Sarnia’s Sustainable Chemical Alliance.

The demonstration plant is expected to create up to 35 full-time and part-time jobs.

Once the pilot project has proven successful, McLaughlin hopes Woodland will develop a full-scale operation in the city as well.

“Sarnia’s got a lot of good things going for it in terms of manufacturing, infrastructure and distribution,” he said.

The partnership with Woodland has already garnered the interest of other companies in Sarnia, making them aware centre is available for early project testing, said McLaughlin.

“I definitely think it’s a positive step for the Sarnia community.”

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