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The Canadian province of Manitoba has released an action plan to promote the development of biodiesel as a new opportunity for Manitoba producers and rural communities and a clean-energy alternative to fossil fuels.
Announced by Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Rosann Wowchuk and Energy, Science and Technology Minister Dave Chomiak, the plan has two primary components: the cancellation of a C$0.115 per liter (US$0.37 per gallon) fuel tax on B100 and a C$1.5-million (US$1.3-million) support package for Manitoba biodiesel producers.
The elimination of the fuel tax on biodiesel will offer a Manitoba biodiesel tax advantage over regular diesel of approximately 5.5 cents (Canadian) per liter after provincial sales tax has been applied. The provincial tax incentive will be reviewed after four years.
The C$1.5-million request for proposals (RFP) support package will be offered to Manitoba biodiesel producers who wish to either increase production of biodiesel or to start a new venture. The federal funds are from Natural Resources Canada’s Opportunities Envelope and are subject to successful contribution agreements being negotiated with producers who are awarded funding.
Other elements of the biodiesel action plan include:
The establishment of an independent biodiesel board to review the RFP submissions of interested developers;
The establishment of a Manitoba-based biodiesel fuel quality testing center;
Developing a preference policy for Manitoba Transportation and Government Services for use of biodiesel in its fleet vehicles;
Conducting research on feedstocks and alternative markets for biodiesel co-products;
Studying the feasibility of using specified risk materials (SRMs) for biodiesel (SRMs are those components of livestock remains that are restricted due to BSE);
Working with private-sector fleet managers to encourage the use of biodiesel;
Conducting a long-haul demonstration to demonstrate the benefits of biodiesel;
Opening a biodiesel office to co-ordinate the roll out of the strategy.
Manitoba consumes approximately 850 million liters of diesel fuel (224.5 million gallons US) each year, the majority of which is used in the transportation and agriculture sectors.
There are currently two pre-commercial biodiesel production facilities in Manitoba: Bifrost Bio-Blends in Arborg and Celtic Power in Rapid City.