Company eyes biofuel potential

A COMPANY that says it can turn wood into gas says there’s potential to build a conversion plant here.

A COMPANY that says it can turn wood into gas says there’s potential to build a conversion plant here.

CORE BioFuel Inc. is holding an information session May 27 to provide more details.

“We think there’s an opportunity in Terrace. There are locations and there’s fibre,” says Toronto-based CORE BioFuel official Doug Sheppard.

One possible location is the city’s airport industrial lands, the Skeena Industrial Development Park.

“We’ve had discussions with members of your town council and also several of your lumbermen,” Sheppard said.

CORE BioFuel is also holding a session in Smithers and one in Houston where it has already been spending time and effort on selecting a plant site.

The company developed an interest in the northwest when it built a connection with a Burns Lake business group with access for wood.

“We now have investors throughout the area,” said Sheppard.

The decision to hold information meetings follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding with so-far unnamed project developer to develop as many as four plants.

“For now they don’t want their name known, but they will be at the Houston meeting and possibly the others,” said Sheppard.

He stressed that CORE is not the inventor of the wood-into-gas method, but is working on developing it as a commercial process.

Intense heat is used to convert primarily waste wood into 92 octane gas.

“We wouldn’t own the plant. We would license the technology,” Sheppard said.

Each plant would cost $100 million and require 220,000 tons of fibre a year to produce 67 million litres of gas.

“And we’d be profitable without a subsidy, but we won’t turn down any help if offered,” said Sheppard. “We’ll take help where we can get it.

“We believe we’re the leading edge biofuel company in the world,” he added.

In addition to 40-50 inside workers, a plant capacity of the size proposed by CORE BioFuel would required approximately 150 outside workers to provide the wood.