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Enerkem announces progress on construction of Canada's first cellulosic ethanol plant

MONTREAL, March 4 /PRNewswire/ - Enerkem today announced progress on the construction of its commercial demonstration plant for the production of cellulosic ethanol.

The Enerkem plant in Westbury, Canada will be one of the first plants in the world to make cellulosic ethanol at an industrial scale. It will produce 1.5 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol from creosoted urban wood (end-of-life cycle power poles). This first demonstration plant represents a major step for Enerkem, coming after more than 3,000 hours of testing since 2003 at its pilot plant in Sherbrooke, Canada.

Construction on the Westbury plant began in October 2007 and will be completed this fall. The next phase consists of installing the gasification and gas conditioning equipment, which is at the core of Enerkem's technology. This phase will be followed by the construction of the catalytic islands where the syngas will be reformed into cellulosic ethanol.

This plant is the first in a series of industrial projects to be announced in the months ahead which will be using municipal solid waste and for which the company will be paid to use in its process.

Unlike traditional ethanol, which is produced from cereals or plants that are part of the food chain, cellulosic ethanol is made from materials that have a lignocellulosic biomass, such as wood residues and solid urban wastes, known as residual materials.

"Enerkem is a pioneer in the emerging world market for cellulosic biofuels," says Vincent Chornet, Enerkem's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Unlike other gasification technologies, which are limited to using the gas for the production of heat and electricity, Enerkem's synthetic gas is conditioned for use as a chemical feedstock in the manufacturing of higher value-added products, such as cellulosic ethanol and other biofuels," Mr. Chornet adds. "This approach redefines current waste management practices into a more sustainable and economical solution," he concludes.

This new generation of renewable biofuels offers many advantages. It contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by using materials that would otherwise produce methane when landfilled. It also produces a renewable fuel for cars, replacing gasoline which is produced from oil.

About Enerkem

Headquartered in Montreal, Quebec with engineering offices in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Enerkem is a leader in the production of cellulosic biofuels. Enerkem's gasification, sequential gas conditioning and catalysis technology converts sorted municipal solid waste and forest residues into cellulosic ethanol and other biofuels. The Company has operated a pilot plant since 2003 and is currently building an industrial-scale cellulosic ethanol production plant in Canada. It is also participating, in partnership with world-class organizations, in other projects which are in various stages of development.

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