- Montreal-based Enerkem Inc. has partnered with SKB Environmental, a Waste Connections subsidiary, to propose a $200 million biofuel facility in Rosemount, MN, as reported by Cantech Letter.
- The facility would employ 100 people and have capacity to process more than 400,000 metric tons of waste per year. Each metric ton would produce about 100 gallons of ethanol.
- Rosemount's City Council is currently studying the proposal and isn't expected to vote for at least a few months. Enerkem aims to begin construction in Q3 of 2018, which could take up to 16 months.
While operations have been delayed at Enerkem's $80 million facility in Edmonton, Alberta for a variety of reasons, the technology is still seen as very promising. Over the summer the facility became the first of its kind in the world to be certified by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification system, which could eventually allow it to export biofuels to Europe.
The Rosemount facility was reportedly inspired by the Minnesota state government's interest in new landfill diversion strategies. Though the state has found that residents are sending less material to landfills or waste-to-energy facilities than 20 years ago, generation has increased in some categories and increasing diversion is a priority. The Minnesota Sustainable Growth Coalition was also recently formed to promote circular economy systems.
Facilities like this that can process hard-to-recycle material and construction waste are starting to come online throughout the country, though are still viewed with skepticism by many communities. Once more of them start operating and show potential to extend landfill capacity, they could become even more common.