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Government tax breaks could fuel biodiesel production in Alberta

RED DEER, Alta. -- The Alberta government is committing $239 million over the next five years to strengthen and exp...

RED DEER, Alta. — The Alberta government is committing $239 million over the next five years to strengthen and expand Alberta’s bioenergy sector by encouraging manufacturers to bring more bioenergy products to the marketplace, including biodiesel.

Doug Horner, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development said this investment provides a significant opportunity to create new markets and new environmentally friendly product and process opportunities.

“Bioenergy is emerging as the foundation of key value-added biorefining industries across all of North America, and this funding ensures Alberta has the policies and programs in place to take advantage of the exciting opportunities developing in this sector,” said Horner.

The investment will be used to administer the Renewable Energy Producer Credit program that will help Alberta industry effectively compete with other jurisdictions that provide programs and tax exemptions to distributors who blend biofuels.

At a total cost of $209 million, the four-year program is being established to serve as a catalyst in enabling the introduction of renewable products into the traditional fuels and energy marketplace.

The credits will be available to eligible commercial bioenergy products processed in Alberta from April 2007 to March 2011. This program will replace the existing Alberta ethanol road tax exemption policy.

An additional $30 million, three year commitment will be initiated immediately through a commercialization program supporting technology investment in the province. It will support establishment of the infrastructure required to market and distribute bioenergy products within the existing market for fuel or electrical power.

“The development of alternative fuels is a key pillar of Alberta’s Integrated Energy Vision,” Energy Minister Greg Melchin said. “This is an important investment to further diversify Alberta’s vast and diverse energy portfolio.”

Both the $209 million and $30 million investments are components of Alberta Agriculture’s nine-point bioenergy plan.

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