Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

June 08, 2007 17:06 ET

Canada's New Government Invests $975,000 in Alberta's Emerging Biofuels Industry

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - June 8, 2007) - John Williams, Member of Parliament for Edmonton-St. Albert, on behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, today announced that Canada's New Government is investing $975,000 in four central Alberta projects to help the emerging biofuels industry.

"Canada's New Government recognizes the role renewable fuels will play in improving our environment for generations to come. It's especially fitting that we are announcing these projects to mark Environment Week," said Mr. Williams. "Projects like these will also advance the biofuels industry in Alberta. That's good news for farmers, their communities, and the environment."

Through the Biofuels Opportunities for Producers Initiative (BOPI), three of the four companies will receive funding to prepare feasibility studies, analyses, and business plans to study the suitability of biofuel production according to location and needs in the industry. Another company will study the economic feasibility of developing biofuels on a smaller scale.

"We're pleased the federal government is providing support to help these companies explore the vast potential for biofuel production and use," said Dee Ann Benard of the Agriculture and Food Council, which administers the BOPI program in Alberta. "These projects demonstrate how committed the Council is to our environment and to our agricultural sector."

BOPI is a two-year $20 million commitment by Canada's New Government designed to provide farmers and rural communities with opportunities to participate in, and benefit from, increased Canadian biofuel production. The initiative helps agricultural producers develop sound business proposals, as well as undertake feasibility or other studies to support the creation and expansion of biofuel production capacity. It is delivered through the industry councils in each province and territory that administer Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food Program.

In Budget 2007, Canada's New Government allocated $2 billion over seven years to support the production of renewable fuels. In addition, since coming to office, this government has announced $500 million to assist farmers and rural communities to seize new market opportunities in the bio-economy through biofuels and bio-products initiatives.

BACKGROUNDER

Biofuels Opportunities for Producers Initiative funds four Alberta projects

The Government of Canada is committed to establishing regulations that will require 5 percent average renewable fuel content in transportation fuels by 2010 and intends to regulate a 2 percent requirement for renewable content in diesel fuel and heating oil by 2012. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) wants to ensure that these targets are implemented in ways that result in the greatest possible benefit to the agricultural sector, including ownership of biofuel production facilities by agricultural producers.

The Biofuels Opportunities for Producers Initiative (BOPI), delivered through the industry councils in each province/territory that administer AAFC's Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food (ACAAF) Program, was developed to help meet this goal. Individual project funding is capped at $300,000 and at least 25 per cent of the project cost must be provided by the industry, of which one third must come from producers.

BOPI funding totalling $975,000 is being provided through the Agriculture and Food Council to four central Alberta biofuels projects, including:

- $300,000 for Ceapro Inc. of Edmonton to complete a business case and feasibility study for the construction and operation of a modular ethanol plant;

- $300,000 to Harvest-Tech Bioproducts Ltd. of St. Albert to conduct engineering studies for a plant that will use straw and other carbon-based materials to make a synthetic gas;

- $300,000 to the Providence Grain Group Inc. of Fort Saskatchewan for a sensitivity analysis and business plan for the construction, operation and marketing of a biofuel business and its products; and,

- $75,000 to the Sustainable Energy Holdings Inc. of Westlock to determine the feasibility of integrating technologies to produce biofuels in the Westlock area.

Opportunities for greater involvement in biofuel production facilities allow agricultural producers to participate in this emerging industry and increase their share of the benefits from renewable fuels production beyond delivering feedstock.

For more information on BOPI, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/bopi.

For more information on the Agriculture and Food Council, please visit www.agfoodcouncil.com or call 1-866-955-3714 ext. 226.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    Minister Strahl's Office
    Ted Yeomans
    Press Secretary
    613-759-1059
    or
    Agriculture and Food Council
    Tom Switzer
    Executive Director, ACAAF and BOPI
    Toll-Free: 1-866-955-3714 ext. 226