Ground broken for biofuel facility

PORT KELLS – The City of Surrey held a groundbreaking ceremony for its planned biofuel processing facility on Friday.


Set to be completed in 2017, the facility will convert the city’s kitchen and yard waste collected at curbside – and commercial waste across the region – into renewable natural gas. It will then be used to power the city’s fleet of waste collection vehicles and district energy system.


The site will also produce a compost product to be used for landscaping and agricultural purposes, and there will be room in the building to do school tours of the site.


The city says the organic biofuel facility will be the first fully integrated, closed-loop waste management system in North America, which will be able to process 115,000 metric tonnes of organic waste per year. It’s hoped the site will help Metro Vancouver achieve its regional 70 per cent waste diversion target.


Mayor Linda Hepner said the project is a milestone for meeting Surrey’s sustainability goals.


"It will reduce CO2 emissions in Surrey by 40,000 tonnes a year – that’s the equivalent of taking 8,500 cars off the road per year," she stated.


The site is being developed as a public-private partnership. Under this model, the city has chosen a private partner – Orgaworld – to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the


facility through a 25-year agreement.


Orgaworld is a Dutch-based company specializing in organic waste recycling with facilities in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Canada.


According to the city, the project will create more than 15 full-time, longterm jobs.


So what’s the price tag for this stateof-the-art facility?


Rob Costanzo, Surrey’s engineering operations manager, said it was originally estimated the project would cost around $68 million.


In 2012, the federal government approved the city’s application to the P3 Canada Fund, where it agreed to contribute up to 25 per cent – or up to $16.9 million – for the capital cost of the project.


Surrey received a QUEST Community Energy Builder Award in 2013 for the planned site.


It will be located at 9752 192nd St. on a vacant lot south of the Surrey Transfer Station. Construction is set to begin this spring.


With files from Jacob Zinn