Manitoba eager to join the ranks of early bio-users

WINNIPEG — Both Alberta and B.C. have revealed plans to require renewable content in their diesel supply by 2010, but it appears Manitoba might try and beat them to it.

According to a story in the Winnipeg Free Press, the province is set to require biodiesel content in the province’s diesel fuel at some point this year – ahead of a 2010 target.

"Our target is 2010, but if we can do anything to do something faster, we’re going to do it," Dan McInnis, Manitoba’s assistant deputy minister of energy, climate change and green strategy initiatives, said in an interview with the local newspaper.

Although a specific date for the announcement – or the mandate itself – were not forthcoming, McInnis made it clear Manitoba intends to beat B.C. in becoming the first province to require its use.

"Manitoba will be the first province in Canada to implement a biodiesel mandate," added McInnis.

Manitoba is close to licensing its first biodiesel producing facility, which is important because the biofuels legislation in that province requires the existence of at least 20 million litres of annual provincially licensed production before a mandate is introduced. And, the Greenway Bio-diesel facility in St. Boniface has the capacity to do it.

Federally, a renewable fuel standard will require 5 percent renewable content in gasoline by 2010, but the 2 percent renewable content in diesel and home heating fuel will not be required until 2012.

Alberta is also using the 5 percent and 2 percent ratio, but has implementation dates for both gasoline and diesel penciled in for 2010. In B.C., gasoline and diesel will be required to have renewable content by 2010 as well, but both will require a 5 percent renewable content.

McInnis said the government has yet to decide what level of biodiesel will initially be required in Manitoba fuels.

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