Oshawa Port Authority plans public meeting on proposed plant

By Erin Voegele | September 20, 2012

The Oshawa Port Authority in Ontario is planning an event to help answer questions its local community has with regard to a proposed ethanol plant.  The OPA announced its approval for FarmTech Energy Corp. to build a 210 million liter (55.48 million gallon) ethanol plant at the Oshawa Harbor in August. The project has been experiencing public opposition. Shortly after the plant was approved, the Oshawa City Council requested that the Ethics Commissioner of Canada open an investigation into the approval of the project. 

To help address public concerns, the OPA plans to hold a public information meeting on Sept. 25 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Quality Hotel and Conference Centre in Oshawa. According to the OPA, the purpose of the meeting is to learn about the mandate of the port authority and about FarmTech’s future ethanol plant.

While the public meeting aims to alleviate public concerns, it seems likely community opposition to the project will continue. On Sept. 5 Oshawa Mayor John Henry wrote a letter to the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure & Communities criticizing the proposed ethanol project. In the letter he notes that at no time during negotiations about the Oshawa Harbour was an ethanol plant mentioned. It also stated that the decision of OPA to authorize the project came as a complete surprise to the city council and the community, and that the decision was made with no prior consultation with the city. The city of Oshawa is asking that the plant be developed in a nearby community, rather than on the harbor.