Lignol, Suncor partner on cellulosic ethanol project

By Anna Austin | October 06, 2008
Web exclusive posted Oct. 27, 2008 at 11:50 a.m. CST

British Columbia-based Lignol Energy Corp. and Alberta-based Suncor Energy Products Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Suncor Energy Inc., announced Oct. 23 that the companies have entered into a Cellulosic Ethanol Project Development Agreement.

The companies hope to have the agreement finalized before Jan. 15, 2009. As part of the partnership, Suncor will assist Lignol with preliminary development work for a commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in Grand Junction, Colo.

In January, the U.S. DOE approved Lignol's funding application for a proposed commercial demonstration cellulosic ethanol plant, which included up to $30 million in funding. Annually the plant will process approximately 100 tons of hard and softwoods, as well as agricultural residues such as straw and corn stover. It's expected to be completed between 2010 and 2011.

Suncor currently operates a 105 MMgy ethanol production facility in Sarnia, Ontario. Terms of the agreement may include a controlling interest in the joint venture by Suncor, which has more than $250 million invested in biofuels and wind energy in Canada.

Lignol has completed construction of an industrial-scale pilot plant in Burnaby, British Columbia, and reports that it's completing a staged plant commissioning process.