The Cellulosic Sugar Producers Co-op meeting in Chatham. January 25, 2017. (Photo by Paul Pedro)

Comet Refinery Project Set To Take Off

Another commercial-scale biorefinery is coming to Sarnia.

The province is investing up to $8-million in Comet Biorefining’s $70-million plant at TransAlta’s Bluewater Energy Park on Vidal St. S.

Comet’s new production plant will use corn stalks and wheat straw to make 27-million kg or 60-million lbs of dextrose sugar annually which can then be used to make plastics, lubricants, paints and other bio-based products.

A news release says 82 new jobs and 158 indirect positions will be created. The company had previously said it hoped to begin full production sometime in 2019.

Company CEO Rich Troyer says it’s a win-win situation for not only Comet, but for local farmers as well.

“This investment will provide us with important financial support needed to move forward with the construction of our commercial-scale facility in Sarnia,” says Troyer.

Once completed, this facility will produce sustainable ingredients for customers across North American and provide a win for local farmers, a win for the environment, and a win for the Canadian bio-economy as a whole. We thank the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs for their support of this project and leadership in making Canada a global front-runner for the manufacturing of bio-based products.”

Minister of Economic Development and Growth Steven Del Duca says the funding will allow Comet to thrive.

“With support from the Jobs and Prosperity Fund, Comet Biorefining boosts its competitiveness, further strengthens Ontario’s innovative bio-economy cluster and creates jobs,” says Del Duca. “The project demonstrates how strategic partnerships are building opportunity while positioning the province for long-term growth.”

The Cellulosic Sugar Producers Co-op was formed to supply the plant, and will own a piece of the facility and receive a share of its profits.

-With files from Josh Boyce