A new biorefinery that will turn organic waste into natural energy was announced in Lacombe on Oct. 15. From left to right: Steve MacDonald, CEO of Emissions Reduction Alberta, Grant Creasey, Mayor of the City of Lacombe, Ron Orr, MLA for Lacombe-Ponoka, Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks and Chris Thrall, President and CEO of BioRefinex Canada Inc. (Photo Courtesey of The City of Lacombe)

A new biorefinery that will turn organic waste into natural energy was announced in Lacombe on Oct. 15. From left to right: Steve MacDonald, CEO of Emissions Reduction Alberta, Grant Creasey, Mayor of the City of Lacombe, Ron Orr, MLA for Lacombe-Ponoka, Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks and Chris Thrall, President and CEO of BioRefinex Canada Inc. (Photo Courtesey of The City of Lacombe)

Lacombe to become world’s first site for a new type of clean energy facility

A biorefinery will be built in 2021 creating temporary and full-time jobs, the province announced.

The provincial government announced Lacombe as the new site for a first-of-its-kind biorefinery to be built in the next year.

The biorefinery will use new technology to turn animal and plant waste into renewable energy. This will cut down on 40,000 tonnes of emissions every year, according to the Government of Alberta.

Lacombe was chosen as the build site because of its central location and important ties to the agriculture and energy sectors, Jason Nixon Minister of Environment and Parks said Thursday at a press conference.

“The Lacombe biorefinery is a leading-edge example of Alberta innovation in action,” said Nixon. “The province is fast becoming a hub for projects that process waste while creating more value for key industries like livestock and farming, and substantially reduce emissions.”

The project will be partially funded through Alberta’s Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) program. TIER will contribute $10 million to the $45 million dollar facility. Alberta companies, who pay into the fund when they don’t meet emissions targets, help to finance the program.

According to a press release provided by the Alberta Government, there is more than $1.9 billion in total TIER funding that will be reinvested into the province through projects such as this.

This new facility will generate approximately 80 construction jobs while it is being built and 25 full-time operation jobs when it is completed.

Lacombe Mayor Grant Creasey thanked the provincial government for investing in the city’s local economy, “This development is consistent with Lacombe’s long-standing leadership in farming and agriculture innovation.”

The company BioRefinex Canada created the technology used at the facility and will be leading the Lacombe biorefinery development.

Chris Thrall, president and CEO of BioRefinex, said the company plans on breaking ground on the project in the spring of 2021. The goal is for the facility to be fully operational by 2022.

This will be the world’s first facility to fully apply BioRefinex thermal hydrolysis technology. This Alberta-made technology works by utilizing extreme heat, high pressure and water to turn waste created in agriculture and food processing industries into renewable natural gas and organic fertilizer which will be available to Alberta customers. The province estimates the facility will have the capacity to generate enough clean energy to heat 1,000 homes per year.

Both local and provincial governments are hopeful this new venture will attract more green businesses to the area.

“This project will put Lacombe and Alberta literally on the map of global leaders in emissions management and climate action,” said Ron Orr, MLA for Lacombe-Ponoka.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Temporary COVID-19 testing sites coming to Wetaskiwin and Ponoka

The Wetaskiwin location will open Oct. 23, 2020 and the Ponoka location will open Oct. 29.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
City and County of Wetaskiwin reporting active cases

Both the City of Wetaskiwin and County of Wetaskiwin have active cases.

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. nbsp;Alberta is reporting it's highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, with 364 new infections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta confirmed 323 COVID-19 cases Tuesday

Central zone active cases at 145

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Maskwacis reporting 37 active cases

Numbers current as of Oct. 19

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, receive flu shot. Photo via Government of Alberta
COVID-19: One more death in central zone

Ponoka County on province’s watchlist

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.	Kenney is isolating at home after one of his ministers tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta premier tests negative for COVID-19 but will isolate for a week

Kenney said he will isolate until Oct. 29 and, in the meantime, work from home

Ponoka Victim Services logo
Ponoka’s seen rise in relationship ‘disharmony,’ domestic violence during COVID-19

While there has been an increase in files, not all have required charges to be laid

ACC President and CEO Ken Kolby spoke to Ponoka Chamber of Commerce members over Zoom on Oct. 20. (Image: screenshot)
Alberta chambers are ‘411’ to members, government: ACC president

Changes to government supports, second wave and snap election

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

RCMP. (Black Press File Photo)
Calgary man dies in two-vehicle collision near Sylvan Lake

A semi truck collided with a SUV just east of Hwy. 781 on Hwy 11.

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Alberta's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday, July 6, 2020. Advisers are reportedly recommending Alberta's kindergarten to Grade 4 arts and social studies curriculum remove all references to residential schools because it's "too sad" for young children. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Advisers suggest Alberta students not learn about residential schools before Grade 4

Documents suggest children younger than Grade 4 are too emotionally vulnerable to learn about residential schools

Most Read