Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

April 13, 2007 12:44 ET

Canada's New Government Invests $575,000 in Manitoba's Renewable Energy Industry

BRANDON, MANITOBA--(CCNMatthews - April 13, 2007) - Merv Tweed, Member of Parliament for Brandon-Souris, 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 $575,000 to help four local companies participate in the emerging biofuels industry.

"Canada's New Government is committed to the environment and improving the profitability of farmers," said Merv Tweed. "Projects funded under the Biofuels Opportunities for Producers Initiative (BOPI) are part of a practical approach to improving the environment and providing greater business opportunities for the agricultural sector in Manitoba."

Through BOPI, an initiative administered under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food (ACAAF) program, companies in southern Manitoba are receiving funding to help prepare feasibility studies and business plans to create and expand biofuels production capacity in Manitoba.

BOPI is a $20 million commitment by Canada's New Government that is designed to provide farmers and rural communities with opportunities to participate in, and benefit from, increased Canadian biofuels production. The program 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 regional industry councils that administer Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's ACAAF Program. In Manitoba, the funding for these projects is administered by the Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council (MRAC).

"MRAC is pleased to deliver the BOPI program," said Linda MacNair, Chair, MRAC. "These four projects are among those that are a part of Manitoba's participation in helping Canada reach its biofuels goals and reduce greenhouse gases."

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 agricultural bio-products sector through biofuels and bio-products initiatives.

BACKGROUNDER

Biofuels Opportunities for Producers Initiative Funds Four Manitoba Projects

The Government of Canada is committed to requiring 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 agriculture sector, including ownership of biofuels production facilities by agricultural producers.

The Biofuels Opportunities for Producers Initiative (BOPI), which is delivered through the regional industry councils 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 percent of the project cost must be provided by the industry, of which one third must come from producers.

BOPI funding totalling $575,000 is being provided through the Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council to four southern Manitoba biofuels projects including:

- $264,000 to Heartland Biodiesel to explore establishing a biodiesel plant in south central Manitoba using locally-produced vegetable oil;

- $224,750 to Borderland Biodiesel to develop a business plan for a biodiesel plant in southwestern Manitoba;

- $56,250 to Ash Haven Farms Ltd. to develop a study and business plan for an oilseed crushing plant in Cyprus River; and

- $30,000 to Clean Country Resources Ltd. to develop a business plan for an ethanol plant in southwestern Manitoba.

Opportunities for greater involvement in biofuels production facilities allow agricultural producers to become participants in the value chain and increase their share of the benefits from renewable fuels production beyond delivering feedstock.

For more information on BOPI and the ACAAF program, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/bopi.

For more information on the Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council, please visit www.mrac.ca.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council
    David Elias
    Communications Coordinator
    204-982-4796