Arbios building low carbon biomass plant in BC

Arbios Biotech, a joint venture of Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (Canfor) and Licella Holdings Ltd., is developing a biomass to low carbon biofuel plant in Prince George, British Columbia.

The plant will use new technology to convert sawmill residues, primarily bark, into high value renewable biocrude which can be further processed in refineries to produce low-carbon transportation fuels.

“We are delighted to take this next step on our journey towards our vision of providing low carbon circular economy solutions around the world.  The evolution of this project will help BC’s and Canada’s suppliers of transportation fuels achieve their emissions and low-carbon targets,” said Don Roberts, chairman of the Arbios Board.

Arbios plans to begin with one processing line which will convert 25,000 dry tonnes of wood residue to 50,000 barrels of sustainable bio-oil per year, a direct substitute for fossil crude, from post-consumer waste wood biomass. 

Scheduled to start producing renewable biocrude in the first half of 2023, the plant is to be built on Canfor’s Intercontinental Pulp Mill site.Arbios will have the potential to expand up to four processing lines within the existing footprint.

The new Arbios plant will utilize Licella’s patented Cat-HTR decarbonization platform. The plant represents the next scale-up of its hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) technology, building on the recent commissioning of Arbios’ CS-1 facility on the Central Coast of New South Wales (Australia), which continues to demonstrate the technology’s capacity to produce low-carbon products.

The project is within the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, with whom Arbios has been working closely on a plan for jointly developing the project, to understand their interest and to ensure meaningful commercial and practical participation for the Nation in the project. The proponents are also collaborating on an environmental due diligence process with the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation.

“Sustainably utilizing our resources to work towards a low-carbon future is highly important for the Lheidli T’enneh peoples. Since Arbios approached us about the project, we have been working closely together to ensure the values of the Nation are respected and protected,” said Chief Dolleen Logan, Lheidli T’enneh First Nation.

The project is supported by both federal and provincial government programs, including issuance of credits under BC’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Renewable and Low Carbon Fuel Requirements) Act; the Sustainable Development Technology Canada Fund; and the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines and Low Carbon Innovation’s Innovative Clean Energy Fund.

“Support from all of the government sources is sincerely appreciated, and special acknowledgement must be given to B.C.’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard and its Part 3 Agreement with Arbios for helping us achieve this milestone,” Roberts said.

Canfor is funding this phase of the project.

Alan Nicholl has been appointed president and CEO of Arbios. he has been a member of the Arbios Board and Management Committee since they were established.