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Shell, Valent invest in FORGE’s biofuel production plant in Sombra

FORGE Hydrocarbons, a University of Alberta spin-off company, has secured equity investment from Shell Ventures and a follow-on contribution from Valent Low-Carbon Technologies to help develop a CAD$30 million commercial-scale, biofuel production plant in Sombra, Ontario.

Shell Ventures has now joined the funders and collaborators of FORGE Hydrocarbons, which includes World Energy, Lockheed Martin, Sustainable Development Technology Canada, and Valent Low-Carbon Technologies.

Andrew Murfin – General Manager Advanced Biofuels at Shell Ventures said: “Biofuels are critical in the move to lower-carbon marine, aviation and heavy-duty transport. Collaboration will be key to a successful energy transition and Shell’s investment in FORGE to progress this commercial-scale project can help accelerate this technology.”

The Canadian biofuel start-up will deploy its lipid-to-hydrocarbon technology (LTH technology) to produce renewable jet fuel, naphtha, and diesel from waste fats and oils.

The LTH technology was invented by University of Alberta’s Dr. David Bressler was licensed through TEC Edmonton to FORGE Hydrocarbons, which was established by biofuels entrepreneur Tim Haig, who also founded BIOX Corp, the first commercial renewable diesel company in Canada, now a part of World Energy.

Shell, Valent invest in FORGE Hydrocarbons’ biofuel production plant in Sombra, Ontario

Shell, Valent invest in FORGE Hydrocarbons’ biofuel production plant in Sombra, Ontario. Photo courtesy of SatyaPrem from Pixabay.

The Sombra biofuel production plant will be capable of producing 7.5 million gallons of renewable fuels per year. The biofuel production project will generate nearly 150 construction and engineering jobs during the build phase and 45 plus full-time jobs for its commercial operation.

FORGE Hydrocarbons claims that its renewable diesel and jet fuels are more than 90% less carbon intensive than fossil-based diesel. Furthermore, they are said to be cheaper to produce compared to conventional renewable diesel and are ‘drop-in’ ready, which means they do not need any specialized blending infrastructure.

The Canadian biofuel producer will target the over four-billion-gallon mandated market in North America for renewable diesel and jet-fuels market to begin with. It will tap into the rich, low-cost and usually untapped lipid feedstocks.

Tim Haig – Founder and CEO of FORGE Hydrocarbons said: “We know that oil under the earth’s crust was created from lipids without expensive catalysts and hydrogen. FORGE mimics nature’s processes, except that we do it in hours not millions of years.”

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