Canada's ethanol industry taking shape

By | October 01, 2002
Canada's ethanol industry taking shape
In early October, Reuters News Service reported that Saskatchewan will become Canada's largest ethanol producer with three 80 million liter per year plants to be built by Broe Companies and the provincial government. Broe will be the majority owner of each plant, with a 60 percent share The first plant is scheduled to open in the spring of 2004 in Belle Plain, Sask., near the provincial capital of Regina. The plant will reportedly use wheat as a feedstock.

Announcements on the other two plants are expected early in 2003. They will reportedly be built near the towns of Tisdale and Yorkton, Sask. According to government officials, it is very likely that Saskatchewan will mandate ethanol blends once the province's ethanol industry is stable.
In Manitoba, several groups are reportedly organizing to build ethanol plants of varying sizes after the Manitoba Premier Gary Doer announced several months ago that he plans to mandate the use of ethanol-blended gas across the province. Officials say Manitoba's ethanol industry could grow from 10 million liters per year to 140 million liters per year if the use of ethanol is mandated. A decision is expected to be made soon.

Bliss Baker, president of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association, has called on the federal government to introduce a National Renewable Fuels Strategy that would mandate specific levels of ethanol and biodiesel in Canada's fuel, along with commercial incentives to make it happen.

Brazil extends ethanol stock credit deadline through 2002
In late October, the Brazilian government extended the deadline to apply for ethanol fuel stock credit from the end of October to the end of the year. The government's National Monetary Council responded to a request from the Agricultural Ministry after delays in establishing norms meant cooperatives and distillers had only a matter of weeks to access the (BRZ) $425 million in official credit available. The government had intended to create a stock of up to one billion liters of ethanol, or around 12 percent of production, to ensure supplies through the start of the next sugarcane harvest in May. However, distiller representatives warn the stock probably won't be created, as the world-leading sugarcane harvest is already over 80 percent complete and much of the produce has already been committed.

Australia's ethanol industry defends itself
Australian Biofuels (ABF) said the nation's ethanol industry was on the brink of collapse because of a concerted campaign of misinformation and lies staged against it. The Labor party has claimed that the government failed to tell drivers about possible engine problems resulting from using 10 percent ethanol blends. ABF CEO Trevor Bourne said the concerns were unwarranted and the result of misinformation.