New Biofuels Initiative Announced

Ottawa, Canada - The Government of Canada today announced program details and eligibility requirements for $1.5 billion in biofuel production incentives available through the ecoENERGY for Biofuels initiative. Legislation tabled will make official renewable energy content requirements for gasoline.

The Renewable Fuels Bill was introduced in Parliament by Environment Minister John Baird on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. The Bill would allow the Government of Canada to regulate renewable content in fuels. 

Gasoline sold in Canada will require an average of five percent renewable content by 2010. Diesel fuel and heating oil will require an average of two percent renewable content by 2012. To meet those requirements, it is estimated that Canada will need three billion litres of renewable fuel a year. Canadian production is currently about 800 million litres per year.

Under the ecoENERGY for Biofuels initiative, announced in July 2007, the Government of Canada will invest up to $1.5 billion over nine years in incentives to encourage greater private sector investment in biofuel production. Producers of ethanol and other renewable alternatives to gasoline will be eligible for incentives of up to 10 cents per litre of production; biodiesel producers can receive incentives of up to 20 cents per litre, for the first three years.

"Renewable fuels also have the potential to create new markets and
economic incentives for Canadian farmers- that is why we have made biofuels
development such a high priority," said Minister Baird.

"The federal government’s investment in biofuels is an investment in Canada’s future," said Bliss Baker, Vice President of GreenField Ethanol, Canada’s leading ethanol producer.

Baker estimates that Canada’s new renewable fuel standard will result in an annual 4.2 megatonne reduction in net GHG emissions - the equivalent of removing more than one million cars from Canadian roads.

GreenField produces 250 million litres of corn-based fuel ethanol every year at its plants in Chatham and Tiverton, Ontario and Varennes, Quebec. GreenField’s largest plant to date, in Johnstown, Ontario will be operational in 2008. The company’s facilities remove more than 400,000 tonnes of ozone-depleting greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere and these reductions will reach one million tonnes by 2009, notes Baker.

The ecoENERGY for Biofuels initiative is one part of Canada’s comprehensive biofuels strategy. In addition to regulating renewable content in gasoline and diesel fuel, the strategy also includes a $500-million investment in advancing Canada’s leadership in next-generation biofuel technologies. Biofuel production is receiving a further boost through the $200-million ecoAgriculture Biofuels Capital incentive that provides farmers with the opportunity to invest directly in the industry.

As well, the $20-million Biofuels Opportunities for Producers initiative will assist farmers and rural communities in seizing new market opportunities in the agricultural sector.

The biofuel production incentive program runs from April 1, 2008, to March 31, 2017, and is administered by Natural Resources Canada. Details of the program, including eligibility requirements and a description of the application process, are now available at

For More Information: Canada News Wire (CNW)

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