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Saskatchewan adopts five year biodiesel subsidy, mandate


Homegrown renewable biodiesel got a welcome boost today with the announcement of a producer incentive and a biodiesel blending mandate in the 2011 Saskatchewan provincial budget.


"Saskatchewan's 2011 budget will be welcome news to farmers and biodiesel producers alike," said Gordon Quaiattini, President of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association in responding to the budget. "With this budget Saskatchewan will tap into the new opportunities of biodiesel, and lay the foundation for a whole new advanced biofuel industry."

Saskatchewan will now boast a five-year $26 million program that will provide a 13 cent-per-litre grant to biodiesel producers effective April 1 2011 and a 2% renewable biodiesel mandate that comes into effect on July 1 2012.

Biodiesel contains no petroleum and can be made from a variety of renewable raw materials, or feedstocks, including pure seed oils, animal fats and recycled cooking oils. It performs comparably to petroleum diesel in terms of fuel economy, horsepower and torque. Biodiesel is safe to use in all diesel vehicles, and also can be used as heating oil and in a variety of other applications, including marine transportation, electrical generation, farming equipment and mining operations.

Biodiesel is 10 times less toxic than table salt and is as biodegradable as sugar. Independent studies have shown that Canadian produced biodiesel generates between 85 per cent to 99 per cent less greenhouse gases, depending on feedstock, compared to conventional diesel fuel.

From an economic perspective, renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel in Canada are a substantial source of economic and financial benefit to rural Canada. Construction of biofuels facilities has generated roughly $3 billion in economic activity and ongoing operations represent a $2 billion annual economic contribution.

A recent AgCall survey of active Canadian canola and soybean growers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario showed overwhelming support for the production and promotion of biodiesel in Canada. 87 per cent of respondents supported using Canadian grown canola/soybeans in the production of biodiesel. 90 per cent of respondents agreed that increased demand for canola/soybeans created by biodiesel production would benefit growers.

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