Aug. 2, 2006
WATERVILLE (CNB) - The Province of New Brunswick is investing $300,000 to support the establishment of the first plant-based bio-fuel refinery in Atlantic Canada, Premier Bernard Lord announced today.
The Bio-Oil Development Centre will be established as a pre-commercial pilot facility by Eastern Greenway Oils Inc. in Waterville, Carleton County, in collaboration with the departments of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture; Business New Brunswick; and Environment, as well as with Bio-Atlantech, New Brunswick's lead agency in the development of the life-sciences industry. The refinery will produce bio-diesel fuel additives, industrial oils and other environmentally sustainable products and services.
"This renewable-fuel-development project is the culmination of several years of crop testing by the province to determine the best crops to use as feedstock for bio-production," Lord said.
The project is intended to establish the value-chain parameters for small-scale plant-based bio-fuel production, enabling agricultural producers to become principal players in renewable-fuel development, and in turn provide for additional economic development opportunities in rural communities of the province.
"This is an important step for New Brunswick, because the initial production from this facility will help determine the competitive position of oilseed production, processing and marketing in Atlantic Canada," Lord said. "This project is also another step toward achieving the province's Five in Five Initiative goal of making New Brunswick known as the clean province, with the biggest reduction in air and water pollution in Canada."
"With the initial production, we will gather information that will help determine the parameters for a competitive bio-fuels industry in the province," said Roy Culberson, Eastern Greenway Oils Inc. chairman of the board. "We will learn what crop yields the best results, and what renewable products can be produced for a profit to enhance food safety and help the environment by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions."
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture has been evaluating different crops for their suitability for bio-fuel production in New Brunswick for the past several years, and in 2004 it developed strategic partnerships to research about 100 different crop varieties.
"The research is ongoing, and in the past year alone the department - in partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Eastern Greenway Oils, Bio-Atlantech, and the New Brunswick Soil and Crop Improvement Association - has invested in or funded research for bio-production purposes in the amount of $120,000," said Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister David Alward.
The Bio-Oil Development Centre is set to start production by the end of August. When operating at full capacity the pilot facility can be scaled up to a commercial capacity of about 2.5 million litres per year, requiring about 4,000 hectares of canola and creating six production jobs.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Alain Bryar, communications, Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture, 506-444-4218; Mathieu Picard, communications, Office of the Premier, 506-453-5426; Ray Carmichael, manager of business development, Eastern Greenway Oils Inc., 506-375-6608.