Archived — Government of Canada Encourages Innovative Biofuel Production in Sarnia

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For immediate release
June 25, 2013

Sarnia, Ontario—Woodland Biofuels Inc. is receiving a contribution to operate a plant that will produce low-cost biofuel from waste. Patricia Davidson, Member of Parliament for Sarnia–Lambton, announced the funding today on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

"Our Government recognizes that innovation holds the key to long-term economic stability for the people, communities and businesses of Ontario," said MP Davidson. "Our investment in Woodland Biofuels will lead to opportunities for job creation, growth and long-term prosperity in Ontario, and will strengthen Canada's position as a global leader in clean energy."

Under FedDev Ontario's Investing in Business Innovation (IBI) initiative, Woodland Biofuels will receive a repayable contribution of up to $800,000 to operate a plant to demonstrate the efficiency and scalability of cellulosic ethanol production using its unique technology. The patented technology uses a series of chemical reaction steps to produce cellulosic ethanol biofuel from plant materials, including agricultural and forestry waste. Through the plant's operations, Woodland Biofuels will determine the optimal processes and procedures for producing cellulosic ethanol, preparing the company to construct commercial plants and licence others to build plants that use Woodland's technology.

"We are delighted that FedDev Ontario has decided to support the optimization of our Sarnia plant. We expect to the plant to show that we can produce ethanol from waste for about half of what it costs to produce gasoline at today's oil prices," said Greg Nuttall, President and CEO of Woodland Biofuels. "This will not only put Ontario in the front of the global race to find an alternative to fossil fuels but ultimately will also provide Ontario with significant economic and environmental benefits."

FedDev Ontario funding for Woodland Biofuels has enabled the company to attract up to an additional $2 million in venture capital financing through the MaRS Cleantech Fund. The company expects to create up to 18 full-time jobs during the implementation of this project, and up to 1,120 additional jobs with the construction of multiple commercial plants following the project's completion.

Investing in Business Innovation is boosting private sector investment in start-up businesses to accelerate the development of new products, processes and practices and help bring them to market. The Government of Canada is focusing on a portfolio of early-stage businesses that are recognized by the investor community as having the potential for high-growth and a net long-term economic benefit for southern Ontario. The investor community includes accredited angel investors from recognized angel investor networks in southern Ontario registered with the Network of Angel Organizations – Ontario and venture capital providers who are members of Canada's Venture Capital & Private Equity Association.

For more information on this project and the Investing in Business Innovation initiative, please refer to the backgrounder.

Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region's strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. In Budget 2013, the Government of Canada demonstrated its continued commitment to workers, families and communities in southern Ontario with the renewal of FedDev Ontario. Economic Action Plan 2013 provides $920 million over five years for the Agency, starting on April 1, 2014. As part of the renewal, FedDev Ontario will be allocating $200 million over five years for a new Advanced Manufacturing Fund in Ontario.

As outlined by the Prime Minister, the Government of Canada remains focused on what Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and their personal financial security.

To learn more, please visit www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.

Follow us on Twitter @FedDevOntario

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For more information, contact:

Stephanie Thomas
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
613-960-7728

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
416-954-6652


Backgrounder

Contribution to Woodland Biofuels Inc.

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), under its Investing in Business Innovation initiative, is providing Woodland Biofuels with a repayable contribution of up to $800,000. The funding supports a project to operate a demonstration plant to produce cellulosic ethanol using the company's unique technology. The plant, located in Sarnia, Ontario, will allow Woodland Biofuels to determine the optimal processes for producing cellulosic ethanol and establish the efficacy and scalability of its production process.

Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Woodland Biofuels Inc. was established in 2000. The company is currently focused on commercializing their technology to produce sustainable, renewable and clean fuels. Woodland Biofuels has developed and patented a low-cost process technology to produce cellulosic ethanol, a renewable biofuel derived from wood, grasses or other biomass.

Ethanol is widely used as a fuel additive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in motor vehicles, and there is increasing demand for biofuels due to changing government requirements for renewable fuel content in gasoline. While most biofuels are produced from foods such as corn and other grains, cellulosic ethanol is derived from non-food sources, such as wood by-products and agricultural waste. Woodland Biofuels' technology has a low cost structure and high yields compared with existing ethanol production processes, and it provides environmental benefits by using agricultural and forestry waste products, that would otherwise require disposal.

Funding for this project from FedDev Ontario's Investing in Business Innovation initiative will support the company's goal of demonstrating the profitability of using renewable resources to replace fossil fuels. The funding has also enabled the company to attract up to an additional $2 million in venture capital financing through the MaRS Cleantech Fund.

Woodland Biofuels anticipates creating up to 18 full-time jobs during implementation of this project. Following the project, the company anticipates building commercial ethanol production plants, creating an additional 1,120 jobs. The company will also license others to build plants using their technology, leading to further job creation in Canada's clean energy sector.

Investing in Business Innovation

Investing in Business Innovation, as part of the Southern Ontario Advantage initiatives, provides improved access to financing for start-up businesses, boosts private sector investment in start-up businesses, and helps accelerate the research and development of new products and ideas and bring them to the marketplace.

To date, over $420 million in funding has been committed to over 240 projects under the Southern Ontario Advantage initiatives, resulting in partnerships with more than 5,000 organizations, and over $1.2 billion in additional leveraged investments from almost exclusively non-government sources.

For more information, please visit the website at www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca.

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