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January 7, 2021

Shell invests in Quebec waste to low-carbon fuels plant

Shell is to have a 40% interest in Quebec's first waste to low-carbon fuels plant using technology developed by Enerkem.

By Rhodri Morgan

Shell is to have a 40% interest in Quebec’s first waste to low-carbon fuels plant using technology developed by Enerkem.

Enerkem announced the project in December, 2020, subject to finalisation of commercial agreements.

The C$875m (US$689m) commercial-scale facility will be constructed in Varennes, Quebec and will produce low-carbon fuels and renewable chemicals products from non-recyclable waste using Enerkem’s proprietary technology.

Commissioning of the first phase of the facility is scheduled for 2023. Critical investment in the plant comes from Shell, Enerkem, Suncor, Proman and Hydro-Québec, as well as from the Québec and Canadian governments.

“Building a commercial-scale low-carbon fuels plant is one of the ways Shell is advancing cleaner fuels and evolving to meet the changing expectations of our customers,” said Shell Canada president and country chair, Michael Crothers.

“Canada is well suited to capitalise on the energy transition thanks to the ingenuity of Canadians and our willingness to work together. We’re grateful for the collaboration between industry and government that has been instrumental in making this project a reality.”

Once completed, the plant will treat more than 200,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste and wood waste per year with an annual production of nearly 125m litres of low carbon fuels.

“The Varennes Carbon Recycling plant demonstrates our commitment and ability to use wastes as a feedstock to provide our customers with low carbon, high quality and affordable products,” added Crothers.

Shell has been a significant producer of ethanol as a low carbon fuel for the last ten years through Raízen, its joint venture in Brazil.

In addition to diverting waste from landfill sites, the Varennes Carbon Recycling plant will expand the overall supply of alternative fuels and increase low-carbon fuels production in Quebec.

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