Governments of Canada and Quebec invest more than $65 million to expand SEMECS biomethanization facilities

Infrastructure Canada

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, along with Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, Minister Responsible for the Fight Against Racism, and Minister Responsible for the Laval Region, are pleased to announce joint funding to expand the biomethanization facilities owned by the Société d’économie mixte de l’est de la couronne sud (SEMECS). These facilities are located in the Varennes Novoparc industrial park in Montérégie.

This nearly $100 million project will receive a maximum joint government investment of $65,178,887. The Government of Canada is contributing up to $25,200,000 from the Green Infrastructure stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) for the expansion of the treatment plant. Quebec is contributing $39,978,887 from the Programme de traitement des matières organiques par biométhanisation et compostage (PTMOBC). Quebec’s contribution includes a maximum of $36,992,768 for the expansion of the treatment plant and $2,986,119 for the purchase of organic matter collection bins.

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 20-year agreement with SEMECS, renewable once, 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

Saint-Lambert. In addition, there will be greater demand from the ICI sector in SEMECS’ 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. The expansion project will therefore contribute to improving the carbon footprint of Quebec, where the waste sector is the fifth largest source of GHGs, according to the most recent data.

Today’s announcement was made in the presence of Suzanne Dansereau, the Member of National Assembly for Verchères, Martin Damphousse, Mayor of Varennes, President of SEMECS and First Vice-President of the Union des municipalités du Québec, Catherine Fournier, Mayor of Longueuil, Sylvain Berthiaume, Director General and Secretary-Treasurer of the Marguerite-D’Youville MRC, and Director General of SEMECS, as well as other relevant elected officials.

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