As the world increasingly prioritizes clean growth and looks for alternatives to petroleum-based fuels, two rural southwestern Ontario organizations are offering cleaner, bio-based, renewable fuel solutions. These producers support the region’s economy and supply chain by sourcing local feedstocks and waste fats to create renewable clean energy alternatives while creating jobs in rural communities.

Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedDev Ontario), announced a total FedDev Ontario investment of $10 million to support the scale-up and growth of two renewable fuel producers in the region: FORGE Hydrocarbons and IGPC Ethanol Inc..

FORGE Hydrocarbons uses a proprietary Lipid-to-Hydrocarbon technology, developed by Dr. David Bressler, to produce renewable diesel from waste fats and oils. With a $5-million repayable contribution from FedDev Ontario, the company will acquire advanced equipment, automate processes, and establish a facility in Sombra, Ontario. FORGE will increase production of biofuel from a capacity of 200,000 liters to 28 million liters per year, scaling up to commercial levels. The fuels produced by FORGE’s advanced technology are a clean alternative to petroleum-based fuels and are compatible with existing engines and infrastructure. This cleantech project is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 70 percent when compared to traditional petroleum-based fuels. Through this project, FORGE Hydrocarbons will create 38 jobs in Sombra.

IGPC Ethanol Inc. is a renewable fuel co-operative based in Aylmer, that creates sustainable growth by producing ethanol from corn. Ethanol offers an environmentally conscious alternative to traditional gasoline, as vehicles using ethanol or ethanol mixed with gasoline emit less greenhouse gas than those using gasoline alone. Since its inception, IGPC Ethanol Inc. has produced 180–200 million litres of ethanol from corn per year at its production plant. It also makes co-products, including distillers’ grains (used as an ingredient in animal feed) and corn oil (used in biodiesel production and as an animal feed ingredient). In 2018, the cooperative began scaling up operations to reach new markets, acquiring advanced equipment and doubling its ethanol production to 380 million litres per year. As an added benefit, IGPC Ethanol now has the ability to capture and sell 280,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually for alternate use, such as in the food and beverage processing industry, which offers additional economic growth for the company. A FedDev Ontario repayable contribution of $5 million supported the project, which added 19 skilled jobs in Aylmer.

These projects are creating skilled jobs, strengthening the biochemical innovation sector in southwestern Ontario, and supporting a healthier environment.