History

Industry Pioneer

In 1989 real estate developer Ken Field formed a group of investors that built its first ethanol plant in Tiverton, Ontario. Commercial Alcohols, as Greenfield was known until 2006, made a name for itself as a producer, packager and distributor of industrial and beverage alcohol before becoming the driving force behind the fuel ethanol industry in Canada.

Portrait photo of Ken Field
  • Canada’s first fuel ethanol supply agreement was negotiated in 1996 between Commercial Alcohols and a major integrated oil company.
  • Canada’s first large scale fuel ethanol facility was opened by the company two years later in Chatham, Ontario.
  • In-house engineers overcame early technical challenges of commercial scale production. This legacy of ingenuity remains one of the company’s greatest strengths.
Three people standing behind a racecar with a "GreenField Ethanol" logo

Fueling Change

In 2013, the company was renamed GreenField Specialty Alcohols Inc. to reflect the growing importance of Industrial grade alcohol products and other co-products.

In 2006, Commercial Alcohols was re-named GreenField Ethanol Inc. in response to increased demand for clean, renewable alternatives to oil. When federal and provincial policy makers began implementing renewable fuel standards, Greenfield initiated a growth strategy to help Canadians achieve their climate change goals.

  • Varennes: Quebec’s first ethanol plant was constructed with $18 million of federal assistance from the Ethanol Expansion Program. Operational in February 2007, the 120 million litres per year (mlpy) facility was hailed as a model in water and energy efficiency.
  • Johnstown: The federal government also contributed $15 million towards the construction of Greenfield’s newest and largest plant as part of the Ethanol Expansion Program. The 200 mlpy facility was completed in December 2008.

Fueling Choice

As rising oil prices impact the economy, Greenfield is broadening Canadians’ fuel choices by developing next generation biofuels made from agricultural, forestry and municipal waste.

  • Cellulosic Ethanol Division: A team of researchers, engineers and business developers are advancing a biochemical method of affordably producing cellulosic ethanol on a commercial scale.
  • Centre of Excellence: The company’s new research facility houses a pilot lab for converting plant fibers into cellulosic ethanol.
  • Enerkem: Greenfield has partnered with Enerkem to build Canada’s first commercially viable ethanol gasification plant. 100,000 tonnes of municipal sorted waste from Montréal and surrounding areas will be turned into 40,000,000 litres of biofuels each year.
Bob Gallant in a posed photo holding corn with two storage tanks behind him