December 22, 2006

CANADA: Wood chips biorefinery venture announced

SunOpta is one of the most demonstrably successful biomass conversion companies. It has conducted significant enzymatic hydrolysis R&D and deployed groundbreaking facilities on both sides of the Atlantic that convert a variety of different biostock into cellulosic ethanol, cellulosic butanol, xylitol and dietary fiber for human consumption. Raw materials include wheat straw, corn stover, grasses, oat hulls and wood chips.

Their mission is to leverage their biomass conversion expertise with proprietary technologies to participate in the construction, ownership and operation of cellulosic ethanol facilities across North America, Europe and Asia.

Just days after the New York cellulosic demonstration plant announcement by Mascoma and Genencor we learn of an agreement between SunOpta Biomass Process Group and GreenField Ethanol Inc.. This is touted to be "the first commercial scale cellulosic ethanol plant built and operational in the world using wood chips." The plan is to site the facility in Quebec or Ontario.

Below is the press release...
SunOpta and GreenField Ethanol Create Cellulosic Ethanol Joint Venture

TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 21, 2006--SunOpta Inc. (SunOpta or the Company) (NASDAQ:STKL)(TSX:SOY) today announced that it has signed a joint venture agreement with GreenField Ethanol Inc. ("GreenField"), formerly known as Commercial Alcohols Inc., Canada's leading producer of fuel ethanol, to develop and implement commercial scale processes for the production of cellulosic ethanol from wood chips, including the planned establishment of one or more commercial scale plants employing the new process.

The first plant is planned to produce 40 million liters (approximately 10 million gallons) of cellulosic ethanol per year, which would be the first commercial scale cellulosic ethanol plant built and operational in the world using wood chips. Greenfield Ethanol and SunOpta are actively involved in selecting a site for the first plant in Ontario or Quebec. Subsequent plants will be in the range of 200 to 400 million liters (approximately 50 to 100 million gallons) per year capacity.

The venture will be owned 50% by GreenField and 50% by SunOpta's BioProcess Group and will utilize the SunOpta BioProcess Group's patented and proprietary process solutions for the production of cellulosic ethanol.

Steve Bromley, President and COO of SunOpta commented, "As previously announced, the SunOpta BioProcess Group is raising $30 million to fund exciting growth projects utilizing the Group's proprietary technology in the production of cellulosic ethanol. This joint venture is an exciting first step in the use of these funds and we are most pleased to partner with GreenField, combining their world class expertise developing ethanol plants with our world class expertise in biomass pretreatment and cellulosic ethanol technologies."

Bob Gallant, President and CEO of GreenField commented, "This partnership combines decades of GreenField's experience in developing world-class ethanol plants and SunOpta's experience in developing cellulose pre-treatment technologies. This new joint venture creates unparalleled experience in developing cellulose technology."

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