Operations begin rolling at Canada's first commercial plant

By | January 01, 2006
Canadian rendering giant Rothsay literally put Canada on the biodiesel production map as it opened its full-scale biodiesel refinery-Canada's first commercial plant-in Ville Sainte Catherine, Quebec, on Montreal's South Shore.

With construction beginning in January, the plant commissioned production in August. However, it wasn't until November that the plant really got rolling, said Ron Wardrop, Rothsay Biodiesel's marketing and business development director. "We're rolling now at about 25 percent capacity," he told Biodiesel Magazine in mid-December. "We want to do this right."

Wardrop said the plant would reach full production capacity sometime in 2006, but he wouldn't be any more specific than that. At full capacity, the newly operational plant is scaled to produce 35 MMly (approximately 9 MMgy).

Rothsay Biodiesel's batch process technology was developed in-house through research, development and experience gained from more than three years of operating its pilot plant on the same site in Ville Sainte Catherine. Montreal-based Inox-Tech Inc. provided general contracting services, Wardrop said. The plant's feedstock consists of both virgin animal fats and yellow greases.

Rothsay Biodiesel is marketing its own biodiesel. Half of the plant's biodiesel heads south and is sold to U.S. markets, while the rest gets distributed to surrounding Canadian markets. The glycerin coming out of the plant now is still relatively crude. It's being sold, but for a cheap price, Wardrop told Biodiesel Magazine. As scaling up to full capacity continues, Rothsay Biodiesel will continue working on improving the quality of its glycerin. "We're continuing to look at and improve our glycerin to achieve consistent quality," Wardrop said.
-Staff Report
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