Manitoba Looking at Increasing Biodiesel Mandate

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is planning on increasing the biodiesel mandate from two to five percent, reported The Winnipeg Free Press today.

According to the province, a five percent biodiesel mandate would reduce Manitoba’s greenhouse gas emissions by 56,000 tonnes yearly.

But the Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) has some concerns regarding the increase, primarily the effect the increased blend would have on engines. As biodiesel doesn’t work well in cold temperatures, fuel companies increase the blend in summer months and decrease it during the winter months in order to achieve the current two percent mandate.

Executive Director Bob Dolyniuk told the Winnipeg Free Press that increasing the mandate would mean a summer blend closer to 10 percent.

“The problem with that,” Dolyniuk said, “is that the diesel engine manufacturers, with the exception of Volvo, will not accept biodiesel over five per cent in their engines.”

There is no hard date for the increase as of yet, according to Bob Brennand with Manitoba Innovation, Energy and Mines (MIEM). Consultations on the increase, he told the paper, are set to begin this fall.

Scott Thurlow, president of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association — an organization that believes ethanol and biodiesel are the only viable alternative to fossil fuels — said that the trucking industry has put up “a barrier every time anyone has made a move on the mandate.”

“We are not opposed to alternative fuels as an industry,” Dolyniuk said. “My board is in support, but there’s certain criteria that have to be met.”

For the full story, check out the Winnipeg Free Press here.

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