Alberta commission okays extra time to complete biogas-fired plant

The Alberta Utilities Commission on Dec. 9 approved an application from Millar Western Forest Products Ltd., the owner of a proposed 5.2-MW biogas-fired plant to be located on its existing manufacturing site in the town of Whitecourt, Alberta.

Millar Western requested approval of a time extension to June 30, 2016, in order to complete construction of the power plant. The commission approved the application on Oct. 19 and granted the requested time extension.

On Nov. 19, Millar Western requested approval of a further time extension from June 30, 2016, to June 30, 2017, in order to complete construction of the power plant.

Millar Western stated that due to repairs to the concrete foundations of the three anaerobic-hybrid-digester (AHD) tanks, the reason for the prior delay, the tank seeding would be delayed to late October or mid-November 2015. Millar Western has since determined that activating a new biological system under winter conditions would entail significant risk and has therefore decided to postpone seeding of the AHD tanks until spring 2016.

Millar Western stated that the AHD tanks would be producing enough biogas to fuel the reciprocating engines by mid-to-late summer 2016, but requested a time extension until mid-2017 to allow additional time to deal with any issues that may arise or in the event that the tanks require re-seeding.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.