Empowering Sustainable Waste Management in Quebec: The Varennes Biomethanization Facility
In 2012, Société d’Économie mixte de l’est de la Couronne Sud Inc. (SÉMECS) emerged as a pioneering public-private corporation under the Quebec Business Corporations Act. Collaborating with the consortium of three public Regional County Municipalities (RCMs) in the eastern Couronne Sud area of Greater Montreal and private partner Biogaz EG Inc., SÉMECS embarked on a mission to treat organic materials recovered in the RCMs of Marguerite-D’Youville, La Vallée-du-Richelieu, and Rouville. Their ambitious vision encompassed designing, building, operating, and maintaining a cutting-edge biomethanization facility located in Varennes, Quebec.
In unity, the three RCMs, representing 27 municipalities with a total population exceeding 235,000, have joined forces to fulfill the mandates set by Quebec Provincial government’s waste management policy objectives. Through innovative diversion programs and curbside collection of household separated organic materials, they seize the opportunity to recover and divert over 40% of the community’s organics.
Technology at the Core:
At the heart of this visionary project lies the biowaste digestion plant, ingeniously utilizing the BTA® process as its technological platform. This sophisticated facility efficiently treats 51,000 tonnes per year of source-separated organics (SSO), grass clippings, septic tank contents, and organic commercial waste. Employing the BTA® hydromechanical treatment, the process suspends digestible organic waste while effectively separating impurities into heavy, light, and grit fractions. Subsequently, the clean and homogeneous suspension enters the wet digestion step – a hallmark of the BTA® process.
The produced biogas plays a pivotal role in the facility’s self-sustainability, providing heat and electricity to power the plant and partially catering to the energy requirements of the adjacent ethanol plant. With a hygienization step in place to ensure material sanitization before digestion, the facility’s outputs are nothing short of transformative. It yields a high-quality soil conditioner, harmoniously nourishing the agricultural land where maize for the ethanol plant thrives, completing the circle of sustainability.
Collaborative Service Package:
In the early stages of this endeavor, CCI Bioenergy Inc. (CCI) and BTA International GmbH worked hand in hand to deliver a comprehensive service package. Beyond process engineering, they provided valuable support during the construction and installation phases and extended assistance to the plant’s initial operations for two years. Installation supervision, commissioning planning, and monitoring became integral components of this turnkey solution. CCI played a pivotal role in delivering key components and implementing the plant’s state-of-the-art control system.
A Visionary Step for Quebec:
The Varennes biomethanization facility stands as a testament to the province of Quebec’s dedication to pioneering solutions for the treatment of diverse organic waste, both municipal and commercial in origin. In alignment with Quebec’s ambitious plans, this innovative project is set to reshape the landscape of sustainable waste management, contributing to a greener and more vibrant future for the province and its communities.
June 23, 2023