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Provincial bio-energy grant spurs growth near Lethbridge

December 3, 2007

LETHBRIDGE - A bio-gas development near Lethbridge that will turn organic waste to energy products has been approved for $1.5 million in provincial grant funding. The facility will use local livestock manure and food processing waste as feedstock, creating an innovative value-added opportunity in the community.

ECB Enviro North America Inc. will use the funding to develop a bio-gas processing facility. Bio-gas methane is a bio-fuel made by anaerobic digestion of organic waste to generate methane gas, electricity or thermal energy. The Lethbridge facility is expected to generate three megawatts of electricity while also providing 110,000 gigajoules of thermal energy that can be used in district heating systems or in neighbouring facilities that require heat for activities such as grain drying.

“These grants will increase bio-energy investment and help offset some of the start-up costs companies may face,” said Mel Knight, Minister of Energy. “They are instrumental in establishing a viable bio-energy marketplace in the province.”

The funding was allocated through the Biorefining Commercialization and Market Development Program and the Bio-energy Infrastructure Development Program. Both grant programs are part of the Alberta government’s $239-million Nine-Point Bio-energy Plan designed to encourage the growth of a clean, renewable fuel industry in Alberta.

“Developing new and innovative ways of producing energy and electricity are crucial in meeting our province’s energy needs. Bio-energy provides a clean, renewable approach to addressing energy issues,” said Clint Dunford, MLA for Lethbridge-West.

The grants also support product development, market research, and feasibility studies to assist bio-refiners in adopting new technologies and meeting market requirements.

More information on Alberta’s bio-energy industry and the grant programs is available on the Alberta Energy website at www.energy.gov.ab.ca under the Our Business section.

Developing Alberta’s bio-energy portfolio is part of Premier Ed Stelmach's plan to secure Alberta’s future by building communities, greening our growth and creating opportunity.

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Media enquiries may be directed to:

Clint Dunford
MLA for Lethbridge-West
403-329-4644

Thane Hurlbert
ECB Enviro North America Inc.
403-553-4255

Sean Beardow
Alberta Energy Communications
780-427-2749
To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.

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