July 11th, 2020

Biodiesel partnership delayed to end of 2019

By Medicine Hat News on October 1, 2019.

A date to finalize a partnership to build renewable diesel refineries in Medicine Hat and three other locations in southern Alberta has been pushed off until the end of the year.

Cielo Waste Solutions made the announcement Monday, which was the latest definitive date for agreements with an investors group for the facilities that purportedly convert bio-mass and other waste products like tires, plastic and railway ties into fuel.

The company states that it is fine tuning technology demonstrated at a high-profile media and investor event this summer at at a prototype refinery in July.

It states that biodiesel has been produced as the plant in Aldersyde, Alta., near High River, using waste wood fibre. It is now adding employees and equipment that will allow continuous operations to fill 120,000-litre holding tanks.

The company is waiting on equipment orders and a permit from Alberta Parks and Environment, stated Cielo president Don Allan.

Lionel Robins, CEO of the investors group, Renewable U group of companies, stated that “Cielo is not building a ‘better” mousetrap, but in fact building the ‘first’ mousetrap,”” and that delays were “understandable.”

“We appreciate the dedication of Cielo’s management and commitment by the company’s contractors to work seven days a week to resolve the unforeseen challenges that have occurred,” said Robins.

“We continue to believe that Cielo’s technology will soon be up and running and be profitable.”

Last spring, a group of investors, then mainly based in Grande Prairie, announced it had secured territorial options to build facilities in that city and Medicine Hat. Another agreement for Brooks and Lethbridge followed with the group, plus some localized investors, paying a combined $1 million in fees toward the four facilities.

Cielo also stated in a release it is moving ahead with a “small-scale” test project of using PET plastics in production. That substance is found commonly in food packaging and so called “clamshell” food containers that have recently become controversial as hard to recycle.

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