September 17, 2007

New $500M fund will advance development of renewable fuels

A new renewable fuels development fund has been launched with $500 million from the federal government. The NextGen Biofuels Fund, to be managed by Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), will support up to 40% of eligible project costs for the establishment of first-of-kind large demonstration-scale facilities for the production of next-generation renewable fuels. The contribution will be repayable based on free cash flow over a period of ten years after project completion.

"The NextGen Biofuels Fund will jumpstart the development and production of the next generation of renewable fuels in Canada," said SDTC Chairman James Stanford. "This Fund will aim to take advantage of the abundance of suitable biomass materials available in Canada by funding large-scale demonstration facilities and encouraging the growth and retention of home-grown technologies and expertise in Canada."

The NextGen Biofuels Fund is now open for applications, which may be submitted at any time during the year. To qualify for support, a project must:

*be a first-of-kind facility that primarily produces a next-generation renewable fuel at large demonstration-scale;

*be located in Canada;

*use feedstocks that are or could be representative of Canadian biomass; and,

*have demonstrated their technology at the pre-commercial pilot scale.

"Next-generation biofuels technologies have the potential to generate even greater environmental benefits," said the Next-generation renewable fuels are derived from non-traditional renewable feedstocks, such as fast-growing grasses, agricultural residues and forest biomass, and produced through the use of non-conventional conversion technologies.

Canada is in a good position to capitalize on next-generation renewable fuels, as the country has an abundance of cellulose-based feedstocks whose energy content is substantially higher than that of conventional biofuel feedstocks. Such cellulosic feedstocks consist largely of materials that are currently considered waste, can be grown on low-grade soil, and have greater potential for co-products.

"Producing the large-scale volumes of NextGen biofuels that are needed to gain market traction will provide superior environmental benefits and alternate sources of revenue for those in the agriculture, forestry, and waste management sectors. In addition, next-generation biofuels are made from cellulose, rather than edible starch," noted SDTC president and CEO Vicky Sharpe.

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