CHAR Technologies has started producing biocoal at its Thorold Renewable Natural Gas & Biocoal facility in Thorold, Canada, marking the completion of the first phase of the project.
The company says it received a C$1.5 million (about $1.1M U.S.) investment from the Canadian government through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), which allowed it to relocate and recommission its production facility from London, Ontario to the Thorold Multimodal Hub, a 500-acre multimodal industrial complex in Niagara.
CHAR’s biocoal, developed in partnership with Canadian industry, is said to serve as a carbon-neutral alternative to metallurgical steel making coal and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The company uses a high-temperature pyrolysis process to take woody materials and forest waste and cooked in oxygen-free kilns to create RNG and biocoal.
The Thorold project will now focus on Phase 2, which will increase biocoal production from 1,000 tons to 10,000 tons per year, followed by Phase 3 which will produce 500,000 GJ/year of renewable natural gas, enough to heat 5,500 homes.
“With Phase 1 complete, we can focus on scaling up the facility to reach its full potential as Canada’s largest woody biomass to RNG and biocoal facility,” said CHAR CEO Andrew White.
The project has received over C$4.9 million in funding from the Canadian government through Natural Resource Canada’s Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program. It also received C$6.4 million from the Ontario government through the Forest Sector Investment and Innovation Program, which is aimed at enhancing productivity and innovation, improving competitiveness, supporting new market access and strengthening regional economies.
The Forest Biomass Action Plan is a five-year plan to encourage the use of forest biomass resources for economic development and sustainability in Ontario. The forest sector made C$18 billion in revenue from the sale of manufactured goods and services in 2020 and supported over 148,000 jobs in 2021.
“The government of Canada is committed to supporting companies that are leading the charge on the development of innovative, clean solutions to help Canadians build a greener future for them and their families,” Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario, said. “Through investments, like the one today for CHAR Technologies Thorold, we are creating skilled jobs and helping to grow the economy towards a cleaner, greener Canadian economy.”
CHAR Technologies is a cleantech development and environmental services company based in Ontario, Canada.