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Manitoba biodiesel program confirms funding

WINNIPEG, Man. -- A total of $1.5 million will be pumped into the Manitoba Biodiesel Production Program announced t...

WINNIPEG, Man. — A total of $1.5 million will be pumped into the Manitoba Biodiesel Production Program announced the province’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives, Rosann Wowchuk. In addition, appointments to the Manitoba Biodiesel Board were also announced.

“We are pleased to announce important steps to further develop our biodiesel industry,” said Wowchuk. “Manitoba farmers and rural communities will benefit from this emerging industry and all of us will benefit from a stronger economy, cleaner air and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Manitoba Biodiesel Production Program will promote the development of smaller, community-based production facilities supplying biodiesel to local and regional markets. The pledged funding has been allocated to the program with support from the federal government under the Opportunities Envelope Program administered by Natural Resources Canada.

Eligible projects must be located in Manitoba and have an annual capacity of at least two million litres. The projects must also demonstrate technical feasibility and economic viability through the preparation of a comprehensive business plan. The newly appointed Manitoba Biodiesel Board will review applications for program funding and recommend which projects receive support.

Ken Thomas, fleet manager with Manitoba Hydro was appointed chair of the board and Marg Rempel, an agricultural producer, will serve as vice-chair. Rounding out the appointments are board members Bob Lafond, division manager, corporate services with Credit Union Central of Manitoba; Rene Maillaird, mayor of the Town of Ste. Rose du Lac; and Al Cormier, acting executive director with the Centre for Sustainable Transportation.

Last November, the province announced a 10-point action plan to promote the development of biodiesel as a new economic opportunity based on the recommendations of the Manitoba Biodiesel Advisory Council. As well as the creation of the board and the establishment of a funding support package, the action plan included a 5.5-cent per litre tax advantage for biodiesel compared to regular diesel.

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