Canada Commits Funding for Ethanol, Efficiency

The Government of Canada announced the details of the investment of CAD$1 billion (US$725 billion) towards the implementation of the Climate Change Plan for Canada. This investment is part of the Budget 2003 allocation and builds on the CAD$1.7 billion (US$1.23 billion) the Government of Canada has invested in climate change over the past five years. Of that total, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien has committed CAD$100 million (US$72.52 million) to encourage construction of new ethanol plants and to encourage development of cellulose-based ethanol.

Guelph, Ontario, Canada – August 14, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] By ratifying the Kyoto Protocol in December 2002, Canada committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to an average of six percent below 1990 levels by 2012. The Ontario Corn Producers’ Association (OCPA), a non-profit association representing 21,000 Ontario corn producers said that Chretien’s announcement was encouraging for the corn producers of Ontario. “Agriculture can be 20 percent of the solution for achieving Canada’s Kyoto commitment, and expansion of fuel ethanol usage is a key component,” said Mat Menich, OCPA President. “Ethanol blended gasoline significantly cuts tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions, thus reducing smog and improving air quality, especially in urban areas.” David Start, First Vice President and Chair of OCPA’s Grain Trade & Market Development Committee called Chretien’s CAD$100 million commitment to ethanol “good news.” Ontario imports 110 million liters of ethanol from the United States in addition to the l73 million liters Ontario produces annually. “In response to this increasing demand for fuel ethanol, there are a number of corn-based ethanol projects in various stages of development in Ontario,” said Start. “This announcement is a much needed incentive to help them become reality.” On Tuesday, Chretien said, “Thanks to the creativity and persistence of our Caucus, $100 million is dedicated to support grain-based ethanol now, and to cellulose-based ethanol as the technology develops. This will enable governments to consider, in the future, a mandated bio-fuel content in all gasoline sold in Canada.” Targets proposed under the Climate Change Plan for Canada would require about 1.6 billion liters of fuel ethanol usage in Canada by 2012, with 600 million liters of that in Ontario alone. At the present, grain-based ethanol is only commercially viable process available to reach these targets within the committed time frame. The OCPA is hopeful the government of Ontario will now enhance its own incentive package to entice expansion of ethanol production in this province. “Quebec, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan all have more attractive incentive packages as does Michigan and many other U.S. states,” said Start. “The government of Ontario has an urgent role to play in ensuring that expansion of grain ethanol production occurs in Ontario.” The Ontario Corn Producers’ Association (OCPA), founded in 1983, is a non-profit association representing 21,000 Ontario corn producers.
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