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Elementa inks 20-year deal with Ontario Power Authority (updated)

Elementa Group President and CEO Jayson Zwierschke was pleased to announce Friday that his Niagara-on-the Lake, Ontario-based company's vision of a waste-to-energy facility in Sault Ste.
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Elementa Group President and CEO Jayson Zwierschke was pleased to announce Friday that his Niagara-on-the Lake, Ontario-based company's vision of a waste-to-energy facility in Sault Ste. Marie has taken a crucial, giant leap forward after a decade of planning and pilot projects.

Zwierschke was on hand with Sault Ste. Marie MPP David Orazietti and a large group of local business and political leaders Friday at Roberta Bondar Place, where Orazietti formally announced the province has reached an agreement through the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) with Elementa Group Inc. to build a new, renewable energy generating facility in Sault Ste. Marie.

The Elementa group is still awaiting provincial granting of an Environmental Certificate of Authorization (ECA), but Zwierschke is optimistic that will come in the near future, enabling construction of the facility to start by the fall of this year. 

At its facility, Elementa will use an innovative, non-incineration gasification process that transforms municipal solid waste into energy.

It is expected the $55 million project will significantly extend the lifespan of the City's municipal landfill site.

Elementa's technology will add 9.5 megawatts (MW) of electricity to the provincial power grid, enough to generate power for 10,000 homes.

The OPA and Elementa have signed a 20-year contract.

Zwierschke stated he was not at liberty to disclose how much money Elementa will receive from the OPA for transmission of electricity to the provincial power grid throughout the 20-year contract. 

Orazietti told Friday's audience that construction of the Elementa facility will create approximately 100 construction jobs.

Zwierschke said construction of the facility is expected to start by the fall, and once completed and operating by 2016, it will employ 25 to 30 people with full-time, high-paying jobs in Sault Ste. Marie.

"I want to commend Elementa for being persistent (in bringing the project into being)," Orazietti said.

Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce President Mark Barsanti, who has quickly established himself as a champion of local entrepreneurship, commended Zwierschke for his entrepreneurial vision.

Zwierschke, in turn, thanked Orazietti, municipal politicians and City staff and the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC) for their ongoing support of Elementa's vision.

Apart from providing electricity for the provincial grid, Zwierschke stated: "We will take on metals, and that will help the City with its recycling, and over 40,000 tonnes of CO2 will be removed from the atmosphere to help protect the climate."

University of Toronto and world-class firms such as Caterpillar will collaborate with Elementa on the project, Zwierschke said.

"The technology can also produce clean hydrogen, fuel for future vehicles, and renewable jet fuel, green chemicals…the opportunities are vast," Zwierschke stated.

The facility will be the first of its kind in North America, and, as Zwierschke told reporters, "be a proving ground for future technologies that will be developed here in Sault Ste. Marie."

Elementa's efforts for now, Zwierschke said, are focussed on Sault Ste. Marie, but the firm has a view to expanding in various markets around the world, with plans for about 20 plants over the next eight to 10 years.

An abridged release from Sault Ste. Marie MPP David Orazietti follows.

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Orazietti announces provincial energy agreement with Elementa Group Inc.
 
Provincial investment in clean energy improves air quality and supports local job creation
 
SAULT STE. MARIE, ON - The province has reached an agreement through the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) with Elementa Group Inc. that will see the company build a new renewable energy generating facility in Sault Ste. Marie, David Orazietti MPP, announced today.
 
“Our government’s landmark renewable energy strategy is leading the way in North America by supporting innovative alternative energy projects throughout the province that create high quality local jobs and reduce pressure on our electricity grid,” said Orazietti. “Elementa’s new waste-to-energy project will further diversify our local economy and strengthen Sault Ste. Marie’s position as a leader in the renewable energy sector.”
 
The OPA and Elementa have signed a 20-year contract for the company to generate clean electricity at a new non-incineration waste-fuelled plant operated by the company.
 
The plant will add 9.5 megawatts (MW) of clean electricity to the Ontario grid and process approximately 50,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste. Electricity generated will power the equivalent of 10,000 homes.
 
The project is valued at approximately $55 million.
 
“We wish to sincerely thank Sault Ste. Marie MPP David Orazietti and the province of Ontario for their support for this project and the advancement of Elementa and our technology,” said Jay Zwierschke, CEO of Elementa Group Inc.  “We are also appreciative of the City of Sault Ste. Marie for their support as the host community for the new plant and would recommend Sault Ste. Marie to all clean energy developers as the place to be if you want to grow your business and become an industry leader.”
 
Developed in Ontario, this plant will be the first non-incineration commercial project of its kind and will increase the province’s clean energy supply while supporting the creation of additional clean energy jobs. The project will create 25 to 30 full-time jobs, over 100 construction jobs and is scheduled to reach commercial operation by 2016.
 
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To view video coverage of this event, please click here
 
Earlier SooToday.com coverage of this story
 
 
 


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Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in TV and Radio, Darren has been a reporter for 15 years.
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