Biodiesel Taking the Bus in Montreal

A biodiesel demonstration project will fuel 155 buses in downtown Montreal with a combination of regular diesel and recycled vegetable oil and animal fat for one year.

MONTREAL, Quebec 2002-03-29 [] The $1.3 million (US$815,000) project is being funded by the Government of Canada, Canada Economic Development (CED), and the Technology Early Action Measures component of the Climate Change Action Fund (CCAF). The goals of the project are to gain practical experience in the use of biodiesel under real-life conditions, particularly in cold weather and to demonstrate the feasibility of supplying biodiesel to a mass transit company like the Montreal transit system. The project will also assess the economic and environmental impact of using this fuel. “This initiative is part of the Government of Canada’s strategy to promote concrete projects that could significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Clifford Lincoln, a Ministry of Natural Resources official. “The project will help assess the environmental, economic and social advantages of introducing biodiesel in Canada and will help bring renewable fuels, such as biodiesel, to the marketplace.” Six Quebec government bodies have joined forces to provide project funding: the departments responsible for the environment (MENV), transportation (MTQ), industry and commerce (MIC), municipal affairs (MAMM), and natural resources (MRN), as well as the Agence de l’efficacite energetique (AEE). Minister Andre Boisclair stresses that the project will demonstrate biodiesel’s potential to reduce emissions of greenhouse gas and other air pollutants, will show how agro-industry waste can be put to use and will contribute to the move from fossil fuels to clean sources of energy. “The project is part of the trend toward sustainable transportation,” he said. The project is an initiative of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA) and one of its members, the Federation des producteurs de cultures commerciales du Quebec (FPCCQ). “One of the goals in using biodiesel,” said CRFA’s president, Bliss Baker, “is to provide a new, less polluting and less environmentally harmful fuel made from the wastes of local farm production or from agro-industry by-products.” Rothsay/Laurenco, a Maple Leaf Foods subsidiary located in Ville Sainte-Catherine and specializing in the recycling of agro-industry wastes, will produce and supply the pure biodiesel for the duration of the project. For its part, the Montreal transit system will provide all vehicles needed to test biodiesel under actual operating conditions. The demonstration project will require 500,000 liters of biodiesel in two blends, B5 and B20, which have a mix of 5 percent and 20 percent respectively of biodiesel to regular diesel. Buses will be supplied with biodiesel starting in March 2002 and ending in March 2003.

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