A new joint venture has been started between SunOpta
Inc. and GreenField Ethanol to develop and construct commercial production processes for generating cellulosic ethanol from wood chips. According to SunOpta president Steve Bromley, they are planning on at least one and maybe more commercial-scale production facilities. The first plant will have a capacity of about ten million gallons per year and would be the first large scale wood chip based plant in the world. The two companies are looking at sites in Ontario and Quebec. If things work out, subsequent plants would be about 5 to 10 times the size at 50-100 million gallons per year. SunOpta has already delivered equipment to cellulosic ethanol facilities in the US, Spain and China. GreenField already produces over 50 million gallons of corn based ethanol a year at facilities in Ontario. More corn-based plants are scheduled to open in Quebec in February 2007 and in Ontario in 2008. Their fuel is sold in 1,500 stations across Canada. If this facility proves to be viable it could be a great way of producing fuel from scrap material that is far more carbon neutral than corn.