GAIN report highlights Canadian ethanol industry

By Erin Voegele | July 19, 2013

An annual biofuels report recently filed with the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service Global Agricultural Information Network provides an overview of Canadian ethanol industry. According to the report, 15 ethanol plants are expected to be operational in Canada during 2013, representing a combined capacity of more than 1.8 billion liters (476 million gallons). Approximately 99 percent of that capacity is currently estimated to be in use.

The GAIN report states that Canadian ethanol production is expected to increase by about 4 percent in 2013. The increase is partially attributed to a new plant that came on line in January. Ethanol production this year is expected to reach 1.98 billion liters, increasing from 1.9 billion liters in 2012. Production is forecast to continue to increase into 2014, reaching 2.01 billion liters.

This year, the GAIN report predicts that corn will be used to produce 78 percent of Canada’s ethanol, with 21 percent derived from wheat.

Ontario is home to approximately 58 percent of current ethanol production capacity. Saskatchewan, Quebec account for a relative 19 and 10 percent of capacity. Alberta and Manitoba combined are home to approximately 12.7 percent of ethanol capacity.

The report also addresses coproduction production. The Canadian ethanol industry produced an estimated 1.33 million metric tons of distillers grains in 2013. This year, distillers grains production is expected to increase to 1.376 million metric tons, reaching 1.383 million metric tons next year.

Corn oil production has also grown in recent years. In 2009, the Canadian ethanol industry produced an estimated 46,000 metric tons of corn oil. That number rose to 96,000, metric tons last year. In 2013 and 2014, the industry is expected to produce 99,000 metric tons of corn oil annually.

The report also addresses Canada’s advanced biofuels industry, highlighting Enerkem’s 5 MMly cellulosic demonstration plant, as well as the development of the company’s 38 MMly cellulosic ethanol plant under development in Edmonton, Alberta.