INCA Renewable Technologies
INCA Renewtech to Manufacture Hemp-Based Composite for Wind Turbines at Advanced Bio-Composites Manufacturing Facility in Alberta
KELOWNA, May 3, 2022—INCA Renewable Technologies has announced plans to manufacture a high performance, cost competitive alternative to Amazon balsa wood and PET thermoplastic foams used to construct wind turbine blades and boats. The product will be manufactured at a state-of-the art 200,000-square-foot fibre processing and composites manufacturing facility to be built in Vegreville, Alberta.
“When ramped to capacity, INCA’s operation will purchase 54,000 tonnes of biomass per year generated from farmers growing hemp for plant-based protein. We will process this renewable resource into highly refined fibre. The short fibre will be transformed into INCA BioBalsa. The long fibre will be sent via rail to our second factory in Bristol, Indiana where we will manufacture BioPanels for the RV industry, PrePregs for the automotive industry and BioPlastics for the consumer products industry. Our commercialization partners include Winnebago and Toyota,” said David Saltman, Chairman and CEO, INCA Renewtech.
The demand for balsa wood, particularly for wind turbine blades, has led to deforestation in Ecuador where it is a native species. Plantations now account for 60% of supply but quality is falling, prices are rising, and manufacturers are seeking viable alternatives. PET foam is more expensive than balsa, generates significant greenhouse gas emissions and does not offer the same compressive strength. INCA’s BioBalsa is cost competitive with balsa and can achieve superior performance due to its higher compressive strength, sustainability and moisture and fire resistance.
An independent lifecycle report conducted by GreenStep Solutions, which has helped more than 3,000 organizations better understand the environmental impact of their operations, demonstrated that INCA’s hemp-based BioBalsa is far more sustainable than balsa wood. One cubic meter of BioBalsa sequesters 260 kg of CO2. During the manufacturing process, BioBalsa generates 107% less greenhouse gas emissions and reduces waste generation by 93% versus cutting and milling balsa wood. It generates 164% less carbon emissions than PET, 99.56% less waste production and 93% less water consumption.
“We have helped over 3000 businesses and corporations measure and reduce their environmental impacts through independent energy, waste, carbon, and lifecycle analysis. The lifecycle report we conducted for INCA Renewtech took into account the environmental impacts of extraction, production, resource use, and end-of-life disposal. Our report concluded that all of the INCA products assessed, dramatically reduced carbon emissions and environmental impacts, when compared to competitive products made of petroleum, wood, or fiberglass,” says Angela Nagy, President & CEO, GreenStep Solutions Inc.
According to the Alberta Ministry of Agriculture, Alberta is now a global leader in the production of sustainably grown hemp and responsible for 40% of Canada’s hemp production. INCA’s purchase of waste hemp fibre from local farmers will now make hemp a dual use cultivar and one of the most valuable cash crops in the Prairies.
About INCA Renewtech Inc.
INCA Renewtech is forging a new path to global leadership in natural fibre composites. Leveraging our globally recognized expertise in development and manufacturing of advanced bio-composites, along with plant genomics, hemp cultivation and fiber processing, we will deliver high performance materials to the automotive, wind turbine, consumer products and building materials industries. Our products sequester carbon, reduce GHG emissions, water usage and waste, while delivering stronger, lighter, cost-competitive solutions to our customers. More information about INCA is available at www.incarenewtech.com