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Expander Energy and Vanderwell to build Canada’s first biomass gas-to-liquids plant

In Canada, Calgary-based Expander Energy, Inc., a developer and licensor of processes to convert carbon sources into synthetic fuels has announced that it has entered into a Letter of Intent (LoI) with Vanderwell Contractors (1971) Ltd. (Vanderwell), an Alberta family-owned forestry and wood processing company, to build Canada’s first commercial demonstration Biomass Gas-to-Liquids (BGTL) facility in the Slave Lake area, Alberta.

Expander Energy, Inc., has entered into a Letter of Intent (LoI) with Vanderwell Contractors (1971) Ltd to
build Canada’s first commercial demonstration Biomass Gas-to-Liquids (BGTL) facility in the Slave Lake
area, Alberta (photo courtesy Vanderwell Contractors).

According to a statement,  the plant will produce clean-burning synthetic biodiesel “SynDiesel” and “SynJet” from a variety of biomass feedstocks. The Biomass Gas-to-Liquids (BGTL) project will be completed in two stages.

Phase 1 will be the installation of a gasifier and GTL unit with an expected production capacity of 120 barrels-per-day (BPD) of synthetic fuel. Upon the successful completion and testing of Phase 1 the companies will proceed with Phase 2 to increase the capacity of the plant to 500 BPD.

Expander Energy has developed and patented the BGTL technology to be used in the facility and says it “has the expertise” to build plants of this magnitude. Vanderwell brings over 70 years of expertise in the forestry industry and will provide a sustainable biomass feedstock and a location for the facility.

There is a huge market for “drop-in” biofuels that are clean, renewable fuel additives and/or alternatives to regular diesel and jet fuel, which are wanted by both consumers and governments right now. Therefore, now is a perfect time to commence our BGTL project and we are delighted to be working with Vanderwell Contractors, said Steve Price, CEO, Expander Energy.

Expander Energy (and partner Rocky Mountain GTL) is in the final stages of construction of a 500 BPD Gas to Liquids (GTL) facility in Carseland Alberta. The core technology proven in this GTL facility will be used in the BGTL facility at Slave Lake where Vanderwell Contractors also operate wood processing facilities.

We have been looking for an opportunity to add value to our waste forestry residuals, in a more economic and environmentally friendly manner. Expander’s innovative BGTL facility which will produce biofuel from waste forestry residuals fits perfectly into this vision of adding value to a waste by-product of our mill, said Ken Vanderwell, President of Vanderwell.

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