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Federal-Provincial Investment to Establish Clean Energy Centre and Bring New Biomass Technologies to Market

January 26, 2011
Edmonton, Alberta
Carmen Maslowski, with BECii; Evan Chrapko, President and CEO of BECii; MP Leon Benoit; and MP Laurie Hawn discuss the BECii initiative following the funding announcement.

Carmen Maslowski, with BECii; Evan Chrapko, President and CEO of BECii; MP Leon Benoit; and MP Laurie Hawn discuss the BECii initiative following the funding announcement.

Alberta’s capacity and ability to convert biomass into market- ready products is expanding with the establishment of a bio-energy applied research facility and industrial cluster at Hairy Hill, near Vegreville.

A combined federal-provincial investment of $8.4 million under the Canada-Alberta Western Economic Partnership Agreement (WEPA) is supporting the BioWaste to Energy for Canada Integration Initiative (BECii) Corporation, an industry driven not-for-profit organization, to establish the BECii Clean Energy Centre.

By highlighting local talent and initiative, this project will help small and medium sized businesses in Alberta’s bio-energy sector grow by helping them develop new processes and technologies for the global marketplace,” said Leon Benoit, Member of Parliament for Vegreville-Wainwright, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.

Alberta produces approximately 20 million tonnes of annual waste in potential feedstock,” said Diana McQueen, Alberta Energy’s parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Energy. “This facility will help bridge the gap between technological development and commercialization in bioenergy, create new valued-added opportunities and build on Alberta’s existing strengths in waste utilization.

As part of the initiative, small- and medium-sized companies developing waste-to-energy conversion processes and technologies will be able to co-locate in Hairy Hill to take advantage of industrial land in close proximity to one another and tap into shared infrastructure and expertise.

BECii's vision is unique in the North American waste-to-energy sector,” said Evan Chrapko, President and CEO of the BioWaste to Energy for Canada Integration Initiative. “BECii will help defray the cost of commercializing new combinations of technology and allow companies to scale-up to meet industry demands in both the domestic and international market on a much more timely and meaningful basis.

The BECii Clean Energy Centre will allow Alberta companies to capitalize on shared costs and synergies for faster research and joint pilot testing. Funding will also support the purchase of equipment needed to facilitate the biomass to bio-energy conversion process, building leases and maintenance, supply and transportation costs.

The bio-energy conversion process involves transforming bio-mass from forestry, agricultural and municipal sources, including bio-waste such as bio-mass, straw, wood, manure, and sewage, into high-value products such as biodiesel, fertilizer, and ethanol that are greenhouse gas emission lean or neutral.

The investments by the Governments of Canada and Alberta are made through the Canada-Alberta Western Economic Partnership Agreement. Through this agreement, Canada and Alberta are jointly contributing $50 million, over four years, to strengthen economic activity and improve quality of life in Alberta communities.

For additional information, contact:

Donna Kinley
Manager, Communications
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Tel: (780) 495-6892

Christine King
Alberta Energy Communications
Tel: (780) 427-0770
To call toll-free within Alberta dial 310-0000

Evan V. Chrapko
President and CEO, BECii
Tel: (202) 656-3826

WD Toll-Free Number:1-888-338-WEST (9378)
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-877-303-3388
WD Website: www.wd-deo.gc.ca.
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Project Funding:

Government of Canada (Western Economic Diversification Canada)


Government of Alberta (Alberta Energy)


Industry (cash)


Industry (in-kind)





The Canada – Alberta Western Economic Partnership Agreement (WEPA)

The Canada-Alberta WEPA targets joint strategic priorities whereby Canada and Alberta will work together and with other interested stakeholders to help create innovative, entrepreneurial and sustainable communities.

Canada-Alberta Joint WEPA Priorities:

  • Technology Commercialization - Create and/or grow the knowledge-based economy in Alberta by commercializing new products, technologies and services into domestic and international markets.
  • Business Productivity and Competitiveness - Strengthen small business development, growth and competitiveness in the global economy.
  • Trade and Investment - Expand access to international markets and investments.
  • Value-Added Processing - Increase revenues of traditional industries by adopting new technologies and processes that transform low value outputs into high value products.

Project Funding Partners

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD)

Western Economic Diversification Canada works with the provinces, industry associations, and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy; coordinates federal economic activities in the West and represents the interests of western Canadians in national decision making.

Alberta Energy

Under the 2006 Nine-Point Bioenergy Plan and the 2008 Provincial Energy Strategy Alberta, Alberta Energy delivers grant programs to support bioenergy capacity and market development and the Bioenergy Producer Credit Program to support production. To date, $150 million in bioenergy grants has been awarded to support over 70 bioenergy projects.

Biowaste to Energy for Canada Integration Initiative (BECii) Corp.

BECii is an industry-led and industry-oriented not-for-profit entity that defrays the cost of technology demonstration to scale-up and advances renewable energy technologies to a market-ready state. The BECii Clean Energy Center will provide member companies with the facilities and managerial expertise to achieve efficient and effective waste-to-energy conversion. Through a collaborative partnership model, technologies are enhanced and delivered to market, offering the greatest economic and environmental benefits. BECii acts as a catalyst between waste-to-energy companies in Western Canada and internationally (http://www.becii.ca/).