“We at all times figured that we have been on observe, however whenever you see the dream begin to come true, it’s fairly thrilling,” says Prairie Clear Vitality CEO Mark Cooper.
Regina-based Prairie Clear Vitality has introduced it’s opening a brand new manufacturing plant within the metropolis, turning flax straw into pellets for markets abroad.
The power, which is pegged to open by the top of this yr, plans to make use of 24 folks and produce 60,000 tonnes of pellets per yr, stated the bioenergy firm’s president and CEO Mark Cooper on Tuesday after the announcement.
“It’s nice. It feels just like the final two years of the funding we’ve made as an organization is 100 per cent value it and we’re heading in the right direction,” Cooper advised reporters. “We at all times figured that we have been on observe, however whenever you see the dream begin to come true, it’s fairly thrilling.”
The corporate started as a start-up 2020, initially piloting the straw-to-pellets course of earlier than going ahead with the manufacturing facility.
The product is taken into account carbon impartial as a result of it comes from vegetation. Earlier than they’re burned as vitality, the vegetation take away carbon from the environment via photosynthesis.
MacKenize will provide flax straw to the power. For him, it will likely be an avenue to do away with extra quantities of it.
“It’s sort of not the perfect product to cope with, and we’ve by no means favored burning it,” he stated. “In case you’ve ever been out within the nation after they’re burning it, it’s fairly a one thing to see, so it’s a really sustainable avenue to do away with it.”
Cooper stated Saskatchewan grows 70 per cent of Canada’s flax crop, which made Regina a really perfect spot for the processing facility. Operations shall be positioned close to McDonald Road and First Avenue East within the metropolis’s northeast.
He hopes to signal extra contracts with different farmers on the farm present earlier than the corporate begins working.
“We’ve actually tried to construction a deal that’s to them (farmers),” he stated. “It doesn’t lock them in and provides them the chance on an annual foundation to decide on whether or not they need to promote straw to us or not.”
Cooper hopes manufacturing on the processing facility can double to 120,000 tonnes by mid-2023.
The corporate additionally plans to have a number of amenities throughout Saskatchewan and different Prairie provinces by 2026.
He defined demand for biomass has grown in Asia and Europe, the place it has develop into an more and more widespread supply of vitality.
In Might, Cooper defined firms in Europe are eagerly on the lookout for the product as a result of they’ll not supply it from Russia. The battle in Ukraine has brought on nations to look elsewhere.
The corporate has added wooden pellets to its product line-up to assist meet this demand. It’s trying to safe a wooden pellet mill in northern Saskatchewan, probably within the Prince Albert area.
With extra biomass amenities opening abroad, Cooper stated Saskatchewan might additionally use this as a supply of vitality because the province transitions away from coal.
He stated biomass is usually a type of base-load energy.
“It’s costlier than coal, however when coal disappears, what selections do you’ve gotten? And what’s the only option for Saskatchewan? My opinion is biomass,” he stated.
The province has beforehand stated it’s taking an all-of-the-above strategy because it transitions to greener vitality. This consists of wind, photo voltaic, geothermal, pure fuel, and small modular nuclear reactors.