Government of Canada calls on industry to participate in new biofuels initiative

The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, today announced program details and eligibility requirements for $1.5 billion in biofuel production incentives available through the Government of Canada’s ecoENERGY for Biofuels initiative.

“This Government strongly supports the development of biofuels, which will lead to new markets for our farmers, help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create new jobs for our cities and towns,” said Minister Ritz. “The biofuels production incentive is a perfect example of our government’s practical, balanced approach to tackling climate change.”

Gasoline sold in Canada will require an average of five percent renewable content by 2010. Diesel fuel and heating oil will require an average of two percent renewable content by 2012. To meet those requirements, it is estimated that Canada will need three billion litres of renewable fuel a year. Canadian production is currently about 800 million litres per year.

Under the ecoENERGY for Biofuels initiative, which the Prime Minister announced in July 2007, the Government of Canada will invest up to $1.5 billion over nine years in incentives to encourage greater private sector investment in biofuel production. Producers of ethanol and other renewable alternatives to gasoline will be eligible for incentives of up to 10 cents per litre of production; biodiesel producers can receive incentives of up to 20 cents per litre, for the first three years.

“We owe it to future generations to take action on climate change,” said the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources. “The ecoENERGY for Biofuels initiative shows our commitment to taking real action towards a healthier environment and a stronger economy for all Canadians.”

The ecoENERGY for Biofuels initiative is one part of Canada’s comprehensive biofuels strategy. In addition to regulating renewable content in gasoline and diesel fuel, the strategy also includes a $500-million investment in advancing Canada’s leadership in next-generation biofuel technologies. Biofuel production is receiving a further boost through the $200-million ecoAgriculture Biofuels Capital incentive that provides farmers with the opportunity to invest directly in the industry.

As well, the $20-million Biofuels Opportunities for Producers initiative will assist farmers and rural communities in seizing new market opportunities in the agricultural sector.

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