Apr 22, 2010 by Lee Hart

Where are we at with biofuels?

 I work out of my basement office, so it is easy for me to
loose track of things. But as we observe Earth Day this week I was just trying
to update myself on who is producing biofuels in Western Canada.

Husky has a four-year-old ethanol plant at Lloydminster,
Sask. and an upgraded facility at Minnedosa MB, and Poundmaker at Lannigan,
Sask. has been operating for many years. There is a fairly new 25 million litre ethanol plant owned by NorAmera BioEnergy Corp. at Weyburn, Sask.  But is there anyone else?

Three or four years ago, at farm meetings, if you weren’t
ready to invest in your local, neighborhood biofuel project you were
disrespecting motherhood and missing out on a great industry-saving
opportunity. When all these ethanol and biodiesel facilities began operating
there was a real risk of a shortage of canola margarine, and even wheat to make
the bread to spread it on.

I recall at one conference there was a brawl in the alley
between a group of biofuel project organizers and a committee planning a
producer-run meat packing plant. They were squabbling over available land for
their developments. All seems pretty quiet today.

I was just reading this morning a company called BioStreet
Canada is working on plans to build a biodiesel plant at Vegreville, AB. They
are a bit behind with their plans. It was supposed to be open in 2008 and now
they are looking at 2012, but it doesn’t sound like they’ve poured any footings

I’m not trying to be cynical, but I was just curious if
there was a flourishing biofuel industry out there and I was missing it.






Lee Hart

Lee Hart

Lee Hart is a long-time farm writer, and honorary member of the Alberta Institute of Agrologists, with many observations on the agriculture industry, who never hesitates to admit he is wrong (should that ever happen.)

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  • Lee, you forgot an ethanol plant in your list. Northwest Bioenergy in Unity SK. It is a 25 million liter plant attached to NorthWest Terminal. It raised almost $14 million from local producers. It started making ethanol Sept 09 and is running at capacity, employs 40 people while consuming 2.5 million bushels of feed wheat. As well as producing ethanol its DDG are of top quality.

  • Hello Brian: I figured I probably wouldn’t catch them all, so thanks for letting me know. Generally, how is that project going? Is it fairly prosperous? You can reply here, or send me an email at: [email protected].