Waste Management Inc. has inked yet another deal to produce biofuels from waste. Today, they announced an investment in Montreal-based Enerkem Inc., as part of their new financing round. A portion of the CDN $53.8 million raised will be used by Enerkem to support the construction of its second waste-to-biofuels plant in conjunction with the City of Edmonton and Alberta Innovates. The funds were raised in combination with current investors and new investors Waste Management and Cycle Capital.
Back in December 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded Enerkem US $50 million for the plant planned in Mississippi. Also in 2009, the company’s commercial-scale demonstration plant in Westbury, Canada went online and reached 1,000 hours of production.
“This financing round validates Enerkem’s business and advances our path towards leadership in the waste and advanced fuels markets,” said Vincent Chornet, President and Chief Executive Officer of Enerkem. “The financial and strategic support of these world-class investors, bringing together our existing investors with Waste Management and Cycle Capital, will accelerate the transformation of the waste-to-biofuels industry that Enerkem is marshalling.”
Enerkem’s proprietary thermo-chemical technology helps convert waste materials into biofuels such as ethanol. According to the company, its technology is able to process diverse carbon-based feedstocks, including sorted municipal solid waste, construction and demolition wood, as well as agricultural and forest residues.
Tim Cesarek, managing director of Organic Growth at Waste Management said of the strategic investment, “We want to extract more value from the materials we manage than anyone else in our industry through new and emerging processing and conversion technologies. Combining Waste Management’s industry leadership and expertise in the collection and management of a wide range of segmented waste streams with Enerkem’s leading clean technology solutions, we are broadening our portfolio of conversion technologies in the waste-to-biofuels market which is key to developing new, higher value added end markets for materials.”