Biomass Market Opens For Farmers

November 14, 2016 – Simon Crouch, Blackburn News Contributor – A chemical extraction facility that is in the design stage in Sarnia is looking for contracts to buy significant amounts of bi-products from Ontario Farmers.

Comet Biorefining plans to extract high quality dextrose and other products from corn stalks and wheat straw starting in 2018.

Jay Cunningham, business development manager for the Cellulosic Sugar Producers Cooperative, — a producer cooperative that is offering to buy the raw material from area farmers — says it is a varied market.

“There is a whole host of food additives, industrial applications like plastics, lubricants, they are developing all the time, so it’s an exciting opportunity,” he says. “We need to secure 55,000 acres of land so that we can generate about 75,000 metric tonnes of biomass a year.”

Because the plant is expected to be in operation in 2018, it needs to purchase the agricultural bi-products from next year’s crops.

Cunningham says the company’s business plan calls for harvesting about 30% of the plant material from each acre of land, leaving the rest to ensure the soil isn’t depleted.

Initial contracts are being offered in a 150 km radius of Sarnia, but the Comet Biorefining says eventually it will be in a position to purchase from farmers across the province.

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