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January 26, 2018 - Press releases

A pioneer in the field, L'Oréal Canada now receives renewable natural
gas produced at the Saint-Hyacinthe biomethanation plant

In brief

  • The City of Saint-Hyacinthe will produce about13 million m3 of renewable natural gas from the organic materials conversion process through biomethanation, which will also help reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25,000 tonne-equivalents of carbon dioxide in Québec each year.
  • This is the first municipal biomethanation project in Quebec, and the renewable natural gas from it will be injected into the Énergir network;
  • L'Oréal Canada is Énergir's first client to purchase the renewable natural gas produced in Saint-Hyacinthe, and the company's two main facilities have been carbon-neutral since December 2017

Saint-Hyacinthe, January 26, 2018 – The City of Saint-Hyacinthe confirmed today that its biomethanation plant has entered full service, along with the injection of the renewable natural gas (RNG) produced there into Énergir's network. This step marks the culmination of an investment project totaling $80 million, $42.2 million of which comes from the Government of Quebec and $11.4 million from the Government of Canada. The City of Saint-Hyacinthe rounded out the financing with a contribution of nearly $27million.

The announcement was made in the presence of Québec's Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, and the Fight against Climate Change, Isabelle Melançon; the Mayor of the City of Saint-Hyacinthe, Claude Corbeil; the President and Chief Executive Officer of Énergir, Sophie Brochu; the Vice-President and Plant Director of L'Oréal Canada, Jean-Victor Pycke; and numerous other representatives of surrounding towns whose organic materials are being recycled at the organic waste reclamation center of the City of Saint-Hyacinthe.

This is the first municipal biomethanation project in Quebec, and the renewable natural gas from it will be injected into the Énergir network. For its part, L'Oréal Canada—whose production and distribution centers in the Saint-Laurent borough of Montreal are carbon-neutral—is becoming Énergir's first customer to purchase RNG produced in Saint-Hyacinthe.

The Saint-Hyacinthe biomethanation plant will produce 13 million m 3 of RNG per year. The biomethanation complex's full entry into service will make it possible to recycle nearly 200,000 tonnes of organic waste from 25 towns and agrifood businesses in the region, which will lead to an annual emissions reduction of 49,000 tonnes of GHGs. Using RNG, L'Oréal Canada will each year avoid emitting more than 2,100 tonnes of GHGs into the atmosphere.

The announcement resulted from a 2014 framework agreement in which the City of Saint-Hyacinthe committed to inject surplus RNG produced at the biomethanation plant beyond that consumed by the City into Énergir's network for a minimum period of 20 years. The City uses the RNG for heating its municipal buildings and to fuel its fleet of vehicles that run on natural gas.

Énergir did its part by building the infrastructure needed to inject the RNG into its distribution network, linking RNG producers and consumers.

Canada is the first country in the Americas where L'Oréal's production and distribution centers are carbon-neutral.


— "How proud we are to see this wonderful project completed here in Québec. We should all laud the commitment of Énergir and L'Oréal, two world-class businesses that are helping to build this new lower-carbon economy. With the renewable natural gas industry, we have a concrete example of the circular economy, showing that it's possible to combine economic and social development with environmental protection. Recycling our organic waste represents one more step toward a zero-waste society, the kind of society we want to hand down to our children."
– Isabelle Melançon, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, and the Fight against Climate Change

— "Saint-Hyacinthe is proud to be one of the first cities in North America to recycle its organic materials through biomethanation. This is a good example of the circular economy, as citizens and local agrifood companies send their organic materials to the biomethanation facility, which turns them into renewable natural gas (RNG). The gas is then used by the City to fuel its fleet of municipal vehicles and to heat its buildings. Surplus RNG is sold to Énergir as an offset that will help improve the services offered to our citizens. For 2018, revenue is projected to be $5.8 million for the entire biomethanation process. Saint-Hyacinthe is a pioneer and has shown once again that it is a true home of innovation."
– Claude Corbeil, Mayor, Saint-Hyacinthe

— "Énergir has been active in encouraging the development of renewable natural gas since its production in Québec began, making it available to as many customers as possible. We're proud to have worked with the City of Saint-Hyacinthe to make this first major biomethanation project a reality, as an alternative to burying waste. This project also actively contributes to achieving our collective goals of reducing GHG emissions and fits in with Québec's 2030 Energy Policy."
—Sophie Brochu, President and Chief Executive Officer, Énergir

— "We believe that beauty can be expressed in multiple ways, particularly through the environment and biodiversity. That's why the L'Oréal group inaugurated the sustainable development program Sharing Beauty with All and made strong commitments in Paris during COP21. To fulfill these ambitions, L'Oréal Canada wanted its production activities to be carbon-neutral and wanted to make a multitude of other commitments to sustainable development. Becoming Énergir's first customer to use renewable natural gas produced by the City of Saint-Hyacinthe offers us an extraordinary opportunity to take a major step toward achieving our goal in Canada."
– Frank Kollmar, President and Chief Executive Officer, L'Oréal Canada

About the City of Saint-Hyacinthe

Saint-Hyacinthe is a pioneer in natural gas production through biomethanation and is innovating with green, profitable and sustainable processes. In addition to doing the right thing for the environment, it generates an additional source of revenue that will help improve the services offered to citizens. The project makes it possible to reduce GHG emissions by 49,111 ton-equivalents of CO 2 . It generates $1.5 million in annual savings on transportation and sludge burial and $500,000 on heating for buildings. Starting this year, it will produce about 13 million cubic meters of renewable natural gas annually. The City uses 1.25 million for its own needs and sells the surplus to Energir.

About Energir

With more than $7 billion in assets, Énergir is a diversified Quebec-based energy company, whose mission is to meet the energy needs of its 520,000 customers and the communities it serves in an increasingly sustainable way. In Quebec, Énergir is the leading natural gas distribution company and also produces, through its subsidiaries, electricity from wind power. In the United States, through its subsidiaries, the company operates in fifteen states where it produces electricity from hydraulic, wind and solar sources and distributes liquefied natural gas, in addition to being the leading electricity distributor and the sole natural gas distributor in Vermont. Energy values ​​energy efficiency and invests both resources and efforts in innovative energy projects such as renewable natural gas and liquefied and compressed natural gas. Through its subsidiaries, it also provides a variety of energy services. Energir strives to become the partner of choice for those striving toward a better energy future.

About L'Oreal Canada

L'Oréal Canada is a wholly owned subsidiary of the L'Oréal Group, the largest cosmetics company in the world. Headquartered in Montreal, L'Oréal Canada had sales of $1.133 billion in 2016 and employs more than 1,300 people. The company holds a portfolio of 39 brands, encompassing all aspects of beauty, and is present across all distribution networks: mass market, department stores, salons, pharmacies, drugstores, and branded retail.


Brigitte Massé
City of Saint-Hyacinthe
450 779-1729
[email protected]

Catherine Houde
1 866 598-3449
[email protected]

Virginie Hotte-Dupuis
L'Oréal Canada
514 287-4618
[email protected]

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