Grower will tap into surplus heat source

December 11, 2012
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Dec. 12, 2012, Chatham, Ont. — The provincial government is supporting an innovative greenhouse project in Chatham-Kent that will create up to 90 local jobs, strengthen the local economy and help the environment.

In a first of its kind in North America, Cedarline Greenhouses will use surplus heat and carbon dioxide from a local ethanol plant to produce up to 21-million kilograms of Ontario grown tomatoes each year.

This project will lower heating costs for the greenhouse by 40 per cent while increasing tomato production by five per cent.

This project will create up to 90 direct and indirect jobs upon completion and up to 400 direct and indirect job opportunities as it meets its expansion target.

Ontario's ethanol industry produces more than 885 million litres of ethanol annually (2011-2012), has created over 360 skilled jobs in rural Ontario, and has generated more than $635 million in capital investments.

Almost 78 per cent of all Ontario greenhouses are located in the counties of Chatham-Kent and Essex.

"This investment supports innovation in Ontario's agri-food and agri-products industries and brings skilled jobs to Chatham-Kent," said Ontario ag minister Ted McMeekin. "This project is a great example of how agriculture is growing Ontario's future."

The government's support "will help us effectively supply Ontarians with high-quality, affordable and locally grown tomatoes and create jobs in our Chatham-Kent community," added Greg Devries, CEO of Cedarline Greenhouses and Truly Green Farms.

"We are excited to be partnering with Cedarline Greenhouses for a project that will reduce operating costs and strengthen the competitiveness of the greenhouses," said Ken Field, founder and chairman of GreenField Ethanol. "This truly is an environmentally sustainable way to produce high-quality products for the consumer year round."

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