$17.4M in Canadian Government Funding Awarded for Xylitol Production

Sustainable Development Technology Canada SDTC Clean Technology Grants

The Government of Canada and the Province of Quebec have recently awarded clean technology grants to Fortress Global Enterprises, a Vancouver company making biomass-based products. The funding will directly support construction of a xylitol demonstration plant for Fortress Global Enterprises’ dissolving pulp mill in Thurso, Quebec to test an innovative process for making xylitol.

A combined total of $17.4M has been awarded to Fortress Global Enterprises from Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s SD Tech Fund and the Quebec government.

Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s SD Tech Fund supports clean technology innovation research and development projects in the search for sustainable energy and waste management solutions. Fortress Global Enterprises’ xylitol demonstration plant will display an innovative and environmentally positive solution that will contribute to economic growth not just in Vancouver and Thurso, but Canada-wide.

$17.4 Million Awarded for Clean Technology Innovation

Fortress Xylitol is a subsidiary of Fortress Global Enterprises, which also operates the Fortress Specialty Cellulose dissolving pulp mill, employing about 300 workers in Thurso, Quebec.

A total of $17.4M in Canadian government funding has been awarded to Fortress Global Enterprises for their clean technology innovation process for xylitol production.

The breakdown of funding is as follows:

  • $10.4M in clean technology grants from Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s SD Tech Fund;
  • $5M in an equity investment from the Government of Quebec; and
  • $2M loan through the investment projects component of Quebec’s ESSOR program.

Funding from the SD Tech Fund will go towards the construction of a demonstration plant to test innovative processes for making xylitol in Thurso, Quebec. Xylitol is a sugar substitute, produced for the food market and food manufacturers. It will be made from hemicelluloses generated by Fortress Specialty Cellulose Inc., also located in Thurso.

Once the production model is confirmed, Fortress Xylitol plans to invest $150 million in the construction of a commercial plant that will employ up to 35 people and produce 20,000 tons of xylitol a year.

The patent pending demonstration process will convert hemicellulose sugars rinsed from wood chips into various biomaterials, with the primary product containing xylitol. Its process will transform Fortress’ dissolving pulp mill into a biorefinery and push the industrial chemical industry from its typical dependence on fossil fuels to a sustainable future based on renewable organic materials.

Once the demonstration is complete, the process will display how Fortress’ exclusive technology facilitates low-cost xylitol production while reducing water consumption, greenhouse gas, and other polluting emissions. Fortress also intends to scale their clean technology for commercial production, enhancing the company’s global competitiveness.

About the SD Tech Fund: Funding for Clean Technology Innovation

The SD Tech Fund is a Canadian government funding program designed to advance clean technology innovation in Canada by supporting small and medium-sized enterprises developing and demonstrating clean technology solutions.

Applicants can receive up to 33% of eligible project expenses with a total funding contribution ranging from $200,000 to $15,000,000 in clean technology grants.

Eligible projects supported by the Sustainable Development Technology Canada SD Tech Fund are those that are pre-commercial and have the potential to demonstrate significant and quantifiable environmental and economic benefits in areas like clean air, climate change, clean water, and clean soil.

To stay up to date on business grants, industry and funding news, and resources geared to Canadian businesses, sign up for Mentor Works’ Weekly Funding Newsletter.

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