Iogen Energy kills plans for industrial-scale ethanol plant

Guest Contributor
May 1, 2012

Iogen Energy has pulled the plug on its planned industrial-scale biofuel plant in southern Manitoba and is laying off 150 workers. The joint venture —between Ottawa-based Iogen Corp and Royal Dutch Shell, The Hague — will refocus its strategy and activities, resulting in a smaller development program. Privately held Iogen was founded in 1974 and has been working to develop cellulosic ethanol at commercial scale. It formed the joint venture with Shell in 2002 and has spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing the technology and processes for industrial-scale ethanol production using non-food sources. In 2007, the government provided $500 million to Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to establish a NextGen BioFuels Fund to support major industry initiatives such as Iogen Energy's ethanol plant. At the time, Iogen expressed frustration over government delays in providing assistance and was being courted by other countries in a bid to land the firm's first production-scale facility. But Iogen was never able to tap the SDTC fund which remains virtually unused (R$, April 17/12). Despite the scaled-back partnership, Iogen and Shell plan to expand their offerings with new technology for production of advanced and cellulosic fuels….

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