Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

November 06, 2007 15:52 ET

Federal Government Invests in the Alberta Biodiesel Industry

ALDERSYDE, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Nov. 6, 2007) - Ted Menzies, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Macleod, on behalf of the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, today announced that the federal ecoAgriculture Biofuels Capital (ecoABC) initiative would contribute $638,559 to help build a biodiesel plant in Aldersyde, Alberta. The plant has also received direct equity investment from farmers totalling $275,000.

"This announcement is another example of our government's commitment to deliver results to the agricultural community as well as taking tangible action for our environment," said Parliamentary Secretary Menzies. "With this ecoABC initiative, this new state-of-the-art biodiesel plant in Aldersyde will benefit farm families, and also help strengthen the local community and our agriculture sector."

Western Biodiesel Inc. is constructing and will operate Aldersyde's new $8 million biodiesel plant. The plant is expected to begin production this December and produce 19,000,000 litres of biodiesel annually.

"Through the federal ecoABC program, Western Biodiesel Inc. has been able to leverage farmers' investment almost three times," said Dean Cockshutt, Chief Executive Officer of Western Biodiesel Inc. "This financial support will help create another significant increment of Canada's biofuels production capacity."

The plant will use canola oil and rendered beef tallow to produce biodiesel and raw glycerine, a co-product that can be refined for various uses in the chemical industry or used as a suitable boiler fuel. The project will help Canada meet its target of an average of 2 per cent renewable fuel content in diesel fuel and heating oil by 2012 and broaden economic opportunities for Alberta and for Canada.

The ecoABC initiative was first launched by the Government of Canada in April 2007. The initiative is part of the comprehensive Government of Canada renewable fuels strategy that focuses on increasing the demand for renewable fuels through various means such as regulation, assisting farmers to enter this sector of the economy and accelerating the commercialization of new technologies.


BACKGROUNDER

Western Biodiesel Inc. is an Alberta company incorporated for the sole purpose of producing and wholesale marketing of biodiesel fuel. The company will produce a high quality biodiesel fuel using multiple feedstocks like fresh canola oil, recycled vegetable oil and animal fat.

The ecoABC initiative is a $200 million, four-year program that provides repayable contributions for the construction or expansion of transportation biofuel production facilities. Funding is conditional upon agricultural producer investment in the biofuel projects and the use of agricultural feedstock to produce the biofuel. The initiative is part of more than $500 million announced by the federal government to assist farmers and rural communities seize new market opportunities in the agricultural bioproducts sector through biofuels and bioproducts initiatives.

The ecoABC initiative is delivered nationally by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. It is designed to provide an opportunity for agricultural producers to diversify their economic base and participate in the biofuel industry through equity investment/ownership in biofuel production facilities.

The Government of Canada is investing a total of $2.2 billion toward the goal of reaching an average of 5 per cent renewable content in gasoline by 2010 and 2 per cent renewable content in diesel fuel and heating oil by 2012.

For more information on the ecoABC initiative, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/ecoabc. For more information on the Government of Canada's ecoAction plan, please visit www.ecoaction.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    Western Biodiesel Inc.
    Brian Harmes
    Vice President, Marketing
    403-620-6176
    or
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Patrick J. McCloskey
    Press Secretary
    613-759-1059