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Wednesday May 30, 2007

$1M for Alberta biofuels projects

 
OLDS, ALBERTA, May 30, 2007 (GLOBE-Net) – The federal government will invest $1 million in five southern Alberta projects to help evaluate barley’s potential in the biofuels industry, develop feasibility studies and business plans for biodiesel production, and to promote mobile diesel refining opportunities for western Canadian farms.

The funding comes through the Biofuels Opportunities for Producers Initiative (BOPI), a $20 million commitment to provide farmers and rural communities with opportunities to participate and benefit from increased domestic biofuels production. Delivered through regional industry councils, the BOPI helps agricultural producers develop business proposals and undertake feasibility or other studies for biofuel production. In Ontario, the funding is administered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council.

As of 2010, all gasoline sold in Canada will be required to have at least five percent annual renewable fuels content. The government estimates this will require around 2.1 billion litres of renewable fuel, essentially ethanol, per year, an eightfold increase over ethanol production and consumption in Canada in 2004.

A two percent renewable fuels content will also be in place for diesel fuel and heating oil used in Canada by no later than 2012. This regulation will apply to all diesel fuel, including off-road transportation and heating. This will create demand for around 600 million litres of biodiesel or other biofuels by 2012, a nearly sixfold increase from current domestic production levels. To support the new regulations, the federal government will provide $345 million to help farmers and rural communities capitalize on emerging biofuels market opportunities, including the BOPI fund.

Individual project funding under BOPI is capped at $300,000 and at least 25 percent of the project cost must be provided by the industry, of which one third must come from producers.

BOPI funding totalling $1,048,510 is being provided through the Agriculture and Food Council (AFC) to five southern Alberta biofuels projects including:

  • $300,000 for Sears Ranches Group to do a business plan and feasibility study for a proposed ethanol plant with a capacity of approximately 25 million litres;

  • $294,500 for BTE Biotrend Energy Inc. to assess, develop and demonstrate mobile diesel refining opportunities for western Canadian farms ($30,750 of the total provided by the Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council);

  • $262,500 for the Western Barley Growers Association to evaluate barley’s potential in Canada’s rapidly evolving biofuels industry;

  • $126,510 for the Ag Energy Corporation for a feasibility study and business plan to build an ethanol plant in the Foothills, Willow Creek and Vulcan County area;

  • $65,000 for the Olds College School of Innovation to determine the overall feasibility of on-farm biodiesel production.