Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

December 17, 2008 18:00 ET

AAFC: New Ethanol Plant Will Help Open Up New Markets and Create Jobs

AYLMER, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 17, 2008) - Today the Integrated Grain Processors Cooperative's (IGPC) Ethanol Plant in Aylmer, Ontario, celebrated its grand opening. This new plant is a leading example of the real benefits of the Harper Government's investment in biofuels development - a long-term strategy that will open up new value-added markets for farmers and create thousands of jobs in rural communities.

"Our Government is making sure Canadian families have access to biofuels as an affordable alternative to oil," said Parliamentary Secretary Pierre Lemieux who attended on behalf of Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "This new plant means new market opportunities for our farmers, new jobs for our communities, and a cleaner environment for all Canadians."

The 150 million litre ethanol plant, owned by the IGPC Ethanol Inc., a subsidiary of the Integrated Grain Processors Co-operative, has also received equity investment from farmers totaling more than $25 million. In addition to ethanol, the plant produces distillers' dried grains, which are sources of protein for dairy and beef cows, hogs and poultry. The ethanol plant operates continuously 24 hours per day and has created approximately 40 new jobs in the region.

"Our Government strongly supports biofuels as a renewable energy source," said Lisa Raitt, Minister of Natural Resources. "The opening of this ethanol plant demonstrates how government, industry and farmers can work together to increase the production and use of cleaner energy in Canada."

The Government of Canada committed a total of $15.8M in funding for this new ethanol plant:

- $11.9 million from Natural Resources Canada's former Ethanol Expansion Program; and,

- $3.9 million in funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's ecoAgriculture Biofuels Capital (ecoABC) initiative.

"The generous assistance we received from Natural Resources Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada ensured the successful construction and commissioning of IGPC," stated IGPC Chairman Tom Cox. "The Government of Canada should really be proud of the critical part they played in the successful launch of the largest start-up co-operative in Canadian history. Our 850 farmer and community members sincerely appreciate the federal government's confidence in our locally-owned biofuels venture."

More information on AAFC's ecoABC program is available online at www.agr.gc.ca/ecoabc. For more information on the Government of Canada's Renewable Fuel Strategy, please visit www.ecoaction.gc.ca.


BACKGROUNDER

IGPC Ethanol Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Integrated Grain Processors Co-operative, an Ontario farmer and community-owned co-operative. The Co-operative is committed to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through the production of renewable fuels.

The ecoABC initiative is a $200 million, four-year program that provides conditionally 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 Ethanol Expansion Program (EEP) was launched in August 2003 with a budget of $100 million. Funding for the program ended on March 31, 2007. The purpose of the EEP was to assist the expansion of fuel ethanol production and use in Canada and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, by supporting the construction or expansion of fuel ethanol production facilities. The EEP is co-managed by Natural Resources Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

IGPC is the largest start-up co-operative in Canadian history. It is owned by 850 farmers and community members. This benchmark would not have been possible without the assistance of the Agricultural Co-operative Development Initiative (Ag-CDI), a federal program that assists agricultural co-operatives. Ag-CDI's $5,000 contribution enabled IGPC to obtain the information and assistance needed at a key stage of development. It helped to lay a strong foundation upon which to grow the Co-operative and generate commitment and support, leading to its successful launch. Ag-CDI is administered in partnership with the Canadian Cooperative Association (CCA), and le Conseil Canadien de la Cooperation et de la Mutualite (CCCM).

The Government of Canada is currently investing a total of $2.2 billion toward the goal of reaching an average of 5 per cent renewable content based on the gasoline pool by 2010 and 2 per cent renewable content in diesel fuel and heating oil by 2012, and advancing next generation biofuel technologies.

For more information on the ecoABC initiative, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/ecoabc. For more information on the Government of Canada's Renewable Fuel Strategy, 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
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Meagan Murdoch
    Press Secretary
    613-759-1059
    or
    Natural Resources Canada
    Media Relations
    613-992-4447