April 23, 2007

Dominion Energy to build North America's largest biofuel refinery in Alberta

By: Mark Sabourin

INNISFAIL, ALTA-Dominion Energy, in partnership with Riverstone Holding and the Carlyle Group, will build North America's biggest biofuel refinery near the town of Innisfail, midway between Calgary and Edmonton. Once fully operational, the $400-million plant will produce 378 million litres of ethanol, and equal amounts of both biodiesel and canola oil. Dominion Energy president Curtis Chandler said the plant will use local sources of feedstock, including about one million tonnes of wheat and 900,000 tonnes of canola per year. The facility's product will be destined mostly for the Canadian market. Environmental approval is expected in May. Once approved, construction on the ethanol facility will begin almost immediately, with commercial production expected to come on-line by mid-2008. The crushing facility and biodiesel facility will follow shortly thereafter. Alberta Energy spokesperson Sean Beardlow confirms that the project received a modest $150,000 in funding from Alberta's Bio-refining Commercialization and Market Development program in support of market development initiatives. Last December, Environment Canada published a notice of intent to develop a regulation under CEPA proposing a renewable fuels requirement of 5% of a company's total annual production plus imports of gasoline for use in Canada. For diesel and heating oil, the current proposal is 2%, pending successful completion of cold-weather testing. The requirements would be in place by 2010, and would take effect no later than 2012.

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