Oshawa, Ont.—The Oshawa Port Authority has given the green light on a controversial $200-million ethanol plant in the city’s industrial portlands.
FarmTech Energy Corporation announced the harbour commission approved the state-of-the-art facility, which has faced intense scrutiny over the years.
“It’s exciting to see this project and investment in our community move forward,” FarmTech president Dan O’Connor said in a statement. “This modern facility will bring tremendous economic benefits to Oshawa, including 300 construction jobs, 50 well paying full-time jobs and hundreds of industry related jobs in farming, shipping and port operations.”
The ethanol plant, expected to produce 210-million litres of the biodegradable fuel, will be built next to an asphalt plant, and not far from a sewage treatment plant and a handful of other industrial facilities, according to FarmTech.
The company says the location is the most practical, efficient and environmentally friendly site for the facility, as it will allow corn and distiller grains to be transported by ship.
FarmTech claims it will help keep 12,000 heavy trucks off the city’s roads.
In a letter of opposition to FarmTech circulated in the community by the Mayor’s Office in 2011, Oshawa city council made its opposition to the facility clear.
According to the letter, the facility is to be located on “a historic and prominent height of land overlooking Lake Ontario.”
In an April 2008 press release found on the company’s website, FarmTech said the plant would inject over $60-million each year into the local economy, including $1-million in tax revenue for the city.
Construction is expected to kick off this summer, with a completion target of 2014.