Engineering News

Suncor To Expand Canada's Largest Ethanol Plant
Thursday, June 12, 2008

Suncor Energy on Thursday announced plans to proceed with a $120 million expansion of its St. Clair Ethanol Plant. This investment is expected to boost ethanol production at the facility to 400 million liters per year--double the plant's existing capacity.

Expanding ethanol production is part of Suncor's plan to invest $750 million in renewable energy initiatives by 2012. Approximately $250 million has been invested to date in wind power projects in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario as well as the first phase of ethanol production in St. Clair.

"This investment reinforces Suncor's commitment to biofuels and providing the renewable energy options that consumers demand," said Jay Thornton, Suncor's executive vice president responsible for renewable energy.

The St. Clair Ethanol Plant has been in production since July 2006 and is currently the largest ethanol facility in Canada, with a production capacity of 200 million liters per year.

Construction of the expanded facilities will begin immediately with completion targeted for late 2009. Approximately 250 construction jobs are expected to be created during the expansion with 20 new full-time positions created once the new facilities are operational.

A peer-reviewed study by the Pembina Institute found that blended products from the first phase of Suncor's ethanol plant could reduce carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) by a potential 300,000 tonnes per year compared to conventional gasoline. The life cycle study included analysis of the impact of corn production used as feedstock, ethanol plant operations, transportation of products and consumer use of the ethanol-blended fuels sold through Suncor's Sunoco retail network.

With expansion, life cycle CO2 offsets are expected to rise to 600,000 tonnes per year -- the equivalent of taking 150,000 cars off the road.

Suncor is also in the planning stages of building a commercial demonstration facility to develop cellulosic ethanol in Colorado with other partners. This cellulosic ethanol facility is expected to convert wood residues into ethanol and commercial products.

"We're proud of Suncor's leadership position in Canada's biofuels industry and our work to help develop next generation ethanol technology that's expected to offer further environmental benefits," said Thornton. "Suncor led the way in making Canada's oil sands industry a success and we're building on that financial strength and pioneering spirit to help develop new, cleaner energy sources for the future."

Suncor Energy Products Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Suncor Energy Inc., an integrated energy company. In addition to a refinery in Sarnia, Suncor Energy Products has a network of more than 300 Sunoco-branded retail and Fleet Fuel cardlock sites and has a 50 percent joint venture interest in more than 200 Pioneer and UPI retail sites. Suncor Energy Products Inc. manufactures, distributes and markets transportation fuels, heating oils and petrochemicals primarily in Ontario. Sunoco in Canada is separate and unrelated to Sunoco in the United States, which is owned by Sunoco, Inc. of Philadelphia.

Source: Suncor Energy

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