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Enerkem Unveils Plans for Biofuels Project in Mississippi

March 24, 2009

MONTREAL, CANADA --- Enerkem Inc., a biofuels and green chemicals technology company, plans to build and operate a second-generation biofuels production facility in Pontotoc, MS. 

The company also announced an agreement with the Three Rivers Solid Waste Management Authority of Mississippi (TRSWMA) for the supply of approximately 189,000 tons of unsorted municipal solid waste (MSW) per year for use as feedstock at the Pontotoc facility. 

Plans call for the plant to be built, owned and operated by Enerkem Mississippi Biofuels, a subsidiary of Enerkem. It is expected to produce 20 million gallons per year of ethanol using a mix of feedstock composed of wood residues from regional forest and agricultural operations, as well as urban biomass such as municipal solid waste, construction and demolition debris, and treated wood. 

In addition to the biofuels production facility, the investment includes an upstream municipal solid waste recycling and pre-treatment center. The total project represents a $250 million investment. 

The Enerkem process will recycle and convert approximately 60 percent of the municipal sold waste that crosses the gate at the Three Rivers landfill. The majority of the MSW will be converted into biofuels and the remainder will be distributed to recycling processors. 

The overall project is expected to create 150 long-term direct and indirect jobs, and to generate an additional 300 jobs during the construction and start-up phases. 

"We are pleased to collaborate with the northern Mississippi community on building an unprecedented advanced biofuels project," said Enerkem President and CEO Vincent Chornet. "The project, our first in the United States, will leverage the expertise we've gained both at our large-scale pilot facility and at our first commercial plant. This project is unique in that it uses a mix of municipal solid waste -- which has negative cost -- and wood residues as feedstock, allowing Enerkem to achieve substantial commercial scale and favorable economics." 

Enerkem is working closely with the Three Rivers Planning and Development District, which is responsible for the administration of the Three Rivers Solid Waste Management Authority landfill site in Pontotoc, MS, where the facility would be located. 

Enerkem and TRSWMA are in the process of negotiating final financial and binding agreements. The company is also developing strong ties with local groups including Mississippi State University, which will be collaborating on future R&D efforts with Enerkem, and the Mississippi Technology Alliance.

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