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Manitoba takes aim at fueling biodiesel production

WINNIPEG, Man. -- Proposed legislative changes have been introduced to the Biofuels Act in Manitoba, which would ad...

WINNIPEG, Man. — Proposed legislative changes have been introduced to the Biofuels Act in Manitoba, which would advance biodiesel market development and ensure biodiesel fuel quality.

The proposed Biofuels Amendment Act would require all biodiesel produced for sale in Manitoba to meet or exceed stringent fuel quality standards. In addition, all biodiesel producers would need to obtain a licence to produce biodiesel in Manitoba.

We are excited about the potential the biofuels industry holds for Manitoba, said Jim Rondeau, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mines. This new legislation will provide the framework to ensure real and sustained growth of the ethanol and biodiesel industries for years to come.

Rondeau noted the proposed legislation would also position the province to implement a mandate for biodiesel at some point in the near future. As the first Canadian province to mandate biodiesel, Manitoba will solidify its standing as a leader in the biofuels sector, he said.

We will continue to work closely with industry stakeholders as we continue to develop biofuels in a sustainable way that preserves the integrity of the industry, he explained. Strengthening the provinces biofuels industry is consistent with Manitobas Creating Opportunities Action Plan, a strategy to enhance economic development opportunities across rural and northern Manitoba.

The legislation would also harmonize the ethanol program with other jurisdictions across Canada.

When we first proposed an ethanol requirement back in 2003, there was very little provincial or federal policy in place, said Rondeau. Two other provinces have mandated ethanol and we want to ensure our policy framework makes the distribution system as efficient as possible.

Manitoba recently launched biodiesel demonstration projects in large commercial fleets with Manitoba Hydro, school buses with Winnipeg One School Division and the trucking industry with Border Chemical.

Husky Energy is building a 130-million-litre ethanol production facility at Minnedosa, which will expand Manitobas ethanol production from the current annual production capacity of 10 million litres. It is expected that this plant will be producing ethanol this fall.

The federal government recently announced its intention to mandate renewable fuel content in diesel by 2012. Four jurisdictions have mandated biodiesel in the U.S. and at least 11 others have announced intentions to follow.

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