Canada beefs up biodiesel policy, use

By Hope Deutscher | January 15, 2009
Although Canada passed a federal renewable fuels standard in mid-2008, which calls for 2 percent renewable content in diesel fuel by 2012, two more Canadian provinces have recently taken further action to expand the use of renewable fuels such as biodiesel. Alberta and British Columbia joined Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario as provinces with individual renewable fuels standards (RFS). However, the two provinces are the only two with biodiesel included in their RFS. In addition, Biodiesel Magazine learned about two separate biodiesel usage tests taking place across the nation. Here's a brief rundown.

In an effort to establish a long-term action plan to produce clean energy and sustain economic prosperity, Alberta implemented a Provincial Energy Strategy in mid-December, which included an RFS that requires 2 percent biodiesel blends by 2010.

Under the strategy's Nine-Point Bio-Energy Plan, $239 million was allocated to support the production and marketing of bioenergy and biofuels. The plan also included increased investment in the research, development, demonstration and deployment of energy technology, and the implementation of emission goals and carbon charges for large industrial facilities.

Alberta's RFS is intended to help the province meet its climate change targets by reducing carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 1 million tons annually. "Our strategic approach going forward recognizes that 21st century energy challenges also represent great opportunities for Alberta," said Alberta Ministry of Energy Mel Knight. "The actions described in the Provincial Energy Strategy will help make Alberta a global energy leader that is recognized as a world-class energy supplier, energy technology champion, and a responsible energy consumer and environmental citizen."

British Columbia
Also in mid-December, British Columbia passed legislation mandating 5 percent renewable content in provincially supplied diesel and gasoline fuels by 2010. The New Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act is part of the B.C. Energy Plan.

One of British Columbia's priorities is supporting the production of liquid biofuels with demonstrated low greenhouse gas life-cycle emissions. A week before the renewable fuels mandate was finalized, the province created an Innovative Clean Energy Fund, from which $10 million will be distributed to promote the development and production of liquid biofuels for transportation and home heating. Eligible projects, which were accepted through early January, included conventional and second-generation technologies for biodiesel production. Funding decisions are expected to be made in March.

Also in December, Manitoba enacted quality standards for the production and sale of biodiesel. As part of the Manitoba Biofuels Act, the standards require biodiesel manufacturers to obtain a license, keep records, and meet quality standards for biodiesel blends and petroleum diesel fuel. Failure to comply with the regulations will result in a $75,000 penalty.

Jim Rondeau, Manitoba minister of science, technology, energy and mines, announced the biodiesel fuel requirements Dec. 5. "We are excited about the potential that the biofuels industry holds for Manitoba," he said. "Biodiesel joins hydroelectric, geothermal, wind, ethanol, solar and biomass power as one of the pillars of our clean-energy strategy. It is a proven energy source that will help us find solutions to climate change in order to meet our Kyoto commitments."

Manufacturers that plan to sell biodiesel in Manitoba or produce more than 15,000 liters (3,963 gallons) per year are required to obtain a commercial license. Small-scale producers that make less than 15,000 liters per year are required to have a noncommercial manufacturing license.

In collaboration with Kyoto Fuels Corp. and JK Trucking, the government of Alberta and Olds College of Innovation are conducting a yearlong over-the-road biodiesel demonstration test to monitor the operability and functionality of B10 in JK Trucking fleets driven in the Canadian climate.

The Biodiesel Integration Study Pilot project, launched in June, collects data from Global Positioning Systems and the electronic control module computers in each trucking unit. The JK Trucking fleets consist of 50 Class 8 highway tractors that use 48 Cummins engines, and travel throughout western Canada and the western U.S. Cummins Western Canada provided the hardware required to download the data. At press time, the project's manager Ryan Deacon-Rogers said the use of B10 hadn't caused any mechanical problems or changes in vehicle performance.

The Olds College of Innovation is acting as a third-party supervisor for the project, ensuring the research is unbiased. The college is also providing consulting services related to data collection, verification and analyses of findings.

Meanwhile, Ontario-based Rothsay Biodiesel, a division of Maple Leaf Foods Inc., announced Nov. 24 that its largest truck fleet has begun fueling with B5 produced at its 9.2 MMgy biodiesel facility in Montreal. The 40-truck fleet in Dundas, Ontario, will consume approximately 1.4 million liters (370,000 gallons) of biodiesel annually. "This is a major step forward for sustainability at Rothsay," Vice President Todd Moser said. "Not only will we decrease our environmental footprint by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released from our 40 trucks, but we're fuelling them with our own biodiesel produced from animal byproducts and recycled restaurant grease."

Since 2002, Rothsay Biodiesel has provided fuel for its Montreal truck fleet. With the addition of its Dundas fleet, Rothsay trucks will consume more than 2 million liters (528,400 gallons) of B5 throughout 2009.
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