BC Bioenergy Network

Partnering for a Greener Future

Nexterra Systems Corp. Combined Heat and Power Gasifier Demonstration

Total Cost Phase 1: $5.8 Mil Phase: 2 $26.35 Mil
BCBN Investment Phase 1: $1.5 Mil Grant Phase 2: $1.45 Mil Grant
Status Completed
Location Kamloops and Vancouver, British Columbia
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Clean, innovative biomass gasification

Project 1 – Gasifier Clean Syngas Research
Project 2 – Combined Heat and Power Gasifier Research and Demonstration at UBC

Project Profile:

Today, the University of British Columbia is using an innovative gasification system developed by Nexterra Systems Corp. to convert clean wood waste into low-cost renewable heat and power.

BC Bioenergy Network initially contributed $1.5 Million to leverage the development of Nexterra’s pilot system. Built in Kamloops in 2010, the system removes tar and particulate from woody biomass to produce ultra-clean synthetic gases. These gases are then funneled through a reciprocating engine to create an energy-efficient heat and power system.

The next step was to build a full-scale demonstration project at UBC. Nine partners with an additional $1.5 Million from BCBN built a system eight times the size of the pilot.

The 2 megawatt (“MW”) electric and 4 MW thermal Nexterra system installed at the UBC Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility is now helping UBC reduce its Greenhouse gas emissions.  A very informative summary of the first two years’ operation was presented in January, 2016: “Green Technology Risks and Benefits: Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility, UBC”.


The system developed by Nexterra was installed at UBC and now displaces or reduces:

  • 12% of the campus’ natural gas consumption;
  • 4% of its peak electrical consumption; and.
  • 4,500 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (“CO2e”) per year (the same as removing 1,100 cars from the road).

In jurisdictions that would otherwise generate electricity from fossil fuels, the equivalent CO2 reductions from this type of system will be double those achieved in Vancouver’s low-carbon hydroelectricity environment. Results on emissions testing from Nexterra’s six systems currently in operation in the US and Canada are also showing they can match or beat air emissions from clean-burning natural gas systems.

Nexterra is now further developing the technology for utilizing ultra-clean synthetic gases in gas pipeline systems or production of liquid transportation fuels.

On April 9, 2015, Nexterra announced the financial close on a 9 MW electrical plant in Northamptonshire, U.K.  This is the second large power plant in the U.K. which will use Nexterra’s gasification system.  The first project, near Birmingham, is under construction and expected to start up in 2016.



See Project Fact Sheet

Funders and Partners: