The Power Alternative to develop two plants in Alberta

By Erin Voegele | November 23, 2011

Detroit-based The Power Alternative Inc. and a consortium of Canadian and Alberta partners have announced the continued development of two 66 million liter per year (17 MMgy) biodiesel plants in Alberta. According to PTA President Jim Padilla, the facilities are expected to be operational by late 2012 or early 2013.

Padilla said one of the plants will be located near High Prairie, and the other in the Edmonton region. Each plant will initially employ nonfood grade canola oil as feedstock. “Obviously Alberta is a large-scale canola producer, and as a consequence they are also a large-scale off-grade canola producer,” Padilla said. “We’ve been in conversations over the last month with several ag producers from throughout the province, and they’ve all expressed an interest in having an outlet for their off-grade canola.” The facilities will also likely process other nonfood mustard seed feedstocks in the future.

According to Padilla, TPA will serve as the technology provider and integrator for each of the facilities. “We will be involved in the facilities as one of the partners in the project, but it will be a Canadian-led project with a group of Canadian investors,” he said. “They will lead the project from an ownership standpoint.”

One of the factors that makes working in Canada an attractive option is that the country has stayed firm behind its subsidy regime, Padilla said. He also noted that Albert has an abundance of feedstock, but no active biodiesel production. “Alberta has all of the feedstock and none of the producers,” he said. “And a government that is interested in seeing the project succeed.”

"The commitment is to have the first 66 million liter project up and running by the end of 2012, or early 2013 at the latest, a timeframe that was achieved with the construction of TPA's recent modular-designed plant in Michigan," said Shane Pospisil, speaking on behalf of New West Opportunities Inc., the consortium of Canadian and Alberta financial, operating and logistics partners. "Over the past several months, the focus has been on listening and talking to agricultural producers.  The project proponents are confident that the two proposed biodiesel plants are now widely viewed as providing regional agricultural producers with highly competitive off-grade supply options, options that are located in their backyard and options that directly benefit their local economies."

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