Biofuel production increasing in Canada

INNISFAIL, AB – New York-based Riverstone Holdings, the Carlyle Group of Washington DC, and Florida-based Dominion Energy Services are building a refinery in Innisfail, Alberta, that will annually produce 1.12 billion litres of ethanol, canola crush, and biodiesel (374 million litres each). Ethanol, a renewable, clean-burning fuel, contains a high oxygen content (35 per cent) that encourages cleaner combustion and reduces harmful emissions. Canola oil comes from canola seed, a trademark hybrid of rapeseed, and was originally bred in Canada. Biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning fuel that can be blended with regular fuel to reduce emissions.

“The rail access, close proximity to large quantities of feedstock, and a skilled local workforce made Innisfail, located a few miles south of Red Deer, Alberta, an ideal location for our newest venture with Dominion Energy,” commented Stephen Schaefer, Managing Director of Riverstone. “Biofuels are taking an increasing role in helping North America to reduce our dependence on fossil and foreign fuels.”

The $400-million refinery will be the first plant in North America to produce three different biofuels. The complex will also capture its carbon dioxide emissions, which will be sold for oilfield production enhancement. Construction is expected to start this summer with production set to begin in 2008.

Elsewhere in Canada, Blackstone Energy Services of Toronto are currently retrofitting a corn starch plant in Collingwood, Ontario, into an ethanol-producing facility in conjunction with Vaughn, Ontario-based Power Stream (the fourth-largest local electricity distribution company in Ontario), Riverstone, and principals of Dominion Energy Services. The facility will produce 52-million litres of ethanol annually and production is set to begin this summer.

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