SAINT-HYACINTHE, QC – The Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, Isabelle Melançon, accompanied by the Mayor of Saint-Hyacinthe, Claude Corbeil, inaugurated the Saint‑Hyacinthe biomethanation plant, the largest of its kind in Canada.

Completed under phase 2 of the project work, the new facilities in Saint-Hyacinthe will be able to process organic material generated by local agri-food businesses, table scraps and green waste from 25 municipalities in the Regional Municipalities of Maskoutains and Acton, whose population totals more than 100,000.

The waste processed in the plant will be recycled and transformed into biomethane, a gas which can replace fossil fuels and feed into the Énergir grid, a Quebec natural gas distributor. Furthermore, the biomass residue, or compost, can be made into mulch and fertilizer for farmland and urban green spaces, making this process doubly green.

More than 200,000 tonnes of organic material are processed annually in Saint-Hyacinthe. Thanks to these facilities, the City can offer residents and local businesses a competitive alternative to managing their waste that respects the environment and helps maintain quality jobs in the area.

“We are marking a major step for Saint-Hyacinthe and its innovative biomethanation project. I am proud that the Government of Canada invested in this project, which is contributing to a cleaner environment and helping build a green economy by reducing the use of fossil fuels and greenhouse gases,” said The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, minister of Infrastructure and Communities.

“We must no longer view our waste as merely stuff to be discarded. Even today too much is used and rejected without realizing its full recycling potential. Building a green sustainable economy means giving these materials a second lease on life to produce clean energy, as Saint-Hyacinthe is doing. Together we must do our utmost to reduce our waste output and leave the following generations with an economic and lower carbon society,” said Isabelle Melançon, Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change.

“In terms of sustainable development our government is taking effective action and I am proud to note that the biomethanation plant in Saint-Hyacinthe will be a positive force in the application of our ecologically responsible vision here in Montérégi,” added Lucie Charlebois, minister delegate for Rehabilitation, Youth Protection, Public Health and Healthy Lifestyle, and minister responsible for the Montérégie Region.

“Saint-Hyacinthe is proud to be one of the first cities in North America to begin converting its organic materials through a process called biomethanation, a great example of a circular economy. Residents and local agri-food companies bring their organic materials to the new biomethanation facilities at the treatment plant, which is then transformed into renewable natural gas (RNG). It is being used by the city to power its vehicles fleet and heat buildings. The RNG surplus is being sold to Énergir, and the funds earned are put towards improving the services we provide our citizens. The anticipated returns related the biomethanation process for 2018 are estimated at $5.8 million. Saint-Hyacinthe is showing once again that it is truly a leading city for innovation” said Claude Corbeil, mayor of Saint-Hyacinthe.

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada has invested nearly $11.4 million in the construction of the biomethanation facility in Saint-Hyacinthe through the Green Infrastructure Fund.
  • The Government of Quebec has invested $42.2 million in the project. These funds come from the PTMOBC (Program for processing organic matter using biomethanation and composting). The program objectives are to reduce the amount of organic matter intended for elimination as well as reduce GHG emissions in Quebec and is funded by the Green Fund. It promotes the achievement of environmental objectives set out in the Quebec policy of residual materials management and action plan 2013-2020 on climate change.
  • In all, this project will require investment on the order of $80 million, and the City of Saint‑Hyacinthe has completed the financing package with a contribution of nearly $27 million.
  • The Government of Canada will invest more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities. $21.9 billion of this funding will support green infrastructure projects, including $5 billion that will be available for investment through the Canada Infrastructure Bank.