Ethanol Industry Grows in Canada

Flex fuel vehicles are part of standard operations for the fleet owned by the Government of Canada. Minister of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) John Efford said that the country is the first in the world to use cellulose ethanol on an ongoing basis, and the Canadian government has given a lot of support toward this goal.

“The cellulose ethanol E-85 fleet is the fruit of years of positive collaboration between NRCan and Iogen. The Government of Canada’s investment in Iogen technology was critical to the development of this low-carbon-dioxide fuel, and we are proud to see that NRCan is the world’s first fleet powered by this leading Canadian technology,” said Brian Foody, Iogen’s President and CEO. The ethanol industry has received government funding since the mid-1980s. Ethanol was exempted from the federal excise tax on gasoline in 1982, and the CAD 100 million Ethanol Expansion Program was launched in October 2003 under Canada’s climate change plan. The program is a key initiative in support of the Government of Canada’s target of having 35 percent of its gasoline contain 10 percent ethanol by 2010. Funding from the first round of grants through program covered CAD 72 million in construction costs for six new ethanol plants across Canada. These plants plan to produce a total of 650 million liters of fuel ethanol per year, which would more than quadruple Canadian supply. A total of CAD 27.5 million in government funding is available for the second round, and the deadline for proposals is February 22, 2005. NRCan, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and other departments within the Government of Canada are now using cellulose ethanol produced by Iogen at a rate of about 100,000 liters per year. The Government of Canada operates 13 E-85 fuelling stations and approximately 900 flex-fuel vehicles that can run off of the 15 percent gasoline and 85 percent ethanol mix. Transportation accounts for about 25 percent of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Canada, so using the low emissions fuel is a high priority for the government. “I’m proud that the Government of Canada is showing the world that this type of ethanol works and will help us lower GHG emissions that contribute to climate change,” Efford said. “Ethanol is a clean, renewable transportation fuel that will help ensure a sustainable future for Canadians, and cellulose ethanol is a leading-edge technology, helping Canada remain at the forefront of the next generation of biofuels.” Cellulose ethanol is made from the non-food portion of agricultural or wood residue and has the potential to reduce GHG emissions further than traditional grain-based fuel ethanol. Iogen has been producing cellulose ethanol for commercial use since April 2004, and has received more than CAD 21 million (US $17 million) from the Government of Canada.
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