$65 million in grants to expand biomethane production in Quebec

A $100 million project to expand the biomethanization facilities owned by the Société d’économie mixte de l’est de la couronne sud (SEMECS) is set to receive a major funding boost from the federal and Quebec governments.

The Government of Canada is contributing up to $25.2 million from the Green Infrastructure stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) for the expansion of the treatment plant.

Quebec is contributing $40 million from the Programme de traitement des matières organiques par biométhanisation et compostage (PTMOBC). Quebec’s contribution includes a maximum of $36.9 million for the expansion of the treatment plant and almost $3 million for the purchase of organic matter collection bins.

“Quebec still generates significant quantities of organic matter. This is why the Stratégie de valorisation de la matière organique [Quebec’s organic matter recovery strategy] aims to recover at least 70% of these materials by 2030. The first step in achieving this goal is most certainly the implementation of the necessary treatment infrastructure,” said Benoit Charette, Quebec’s minister of the environment and the fight against climate change.

The facilities are located in the Varennes Novoparc industrial park in Montérégie.

The work, which began on a preliminary basis in the summer of 2020, will increase the biomethanization treatment capacity of the existing SEMECS facilities. This expansion project follows a renewable 20-year agreement with SEMECS for the treatment of residual organic materials from municipal and industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) sources from the agglomeration of Longueuil. This includes the City of Longueuil and the municipalities of Boucherville, Brossard, Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville and

In addition, there will be greater demand from the ICI sector in member MRCs (Vallée-du-Richelieu, Marguerite-D’Youville and Rouville), along with other ICI sources from the agglomeration of Montreal, which will be treated at the enhanced SEMECS facilities. The new part of the plant is expected to be operational by 2023.

The work includes:

  • The installation of a new organic material receiving area with a pit;
  • The addition of three new digesters;
  • The addition of more efficient equipment for the treatment of air, water, biogas and digestate;
  • The installation of an Énergir gas transfer platform;
  • The addition of a new shredder.

At the end of the fifth year of operation, the expansion of the current facilities will make it possible to process an additional 85,000 tonnes of organic matter per year, from some 220,000 dwellings occupied by nearly 455,000 residents. This will bring the total capacity of the SEMECS facilities to 120,000 tonnes per year.

In addition, the expansion of the existing facility will result in additional greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions of 13,404 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. This is the equivalent of taking approximately 3,850 cars off the road.

SEMECS is a mixed enterprise corporation resulting from a partnership between the MRCs of La Vallée-du-Richelieu, Marguerite-D’Youville and Rouville, and Biogaz EG, formed by Greenfield Global and Groupe Valorr. Its mission is to process organic matter in order to produce renewable energy, reduce the amount of organic matter sent to landfill and reduce GHGs.