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Government of Canada to Invest Up to C$77.75M in Saskatchewan Ethanol Plant

The Government of Canada will invest up to C$77.75 million (US$74.5 million) over seven years in Terra Grain Fuels’s (TGF) wheat ethanol facility to support the production of ethanol in Saskatchewan, sustain job creation and help stimulate the economy.

The Terra Grain Fuels ethanol plant, near Belle Plaine, Saskatchewan, has a design capacity of approximately 150 million liters (40 million gallons US) of ethanol annually and 163,800 tonnes of dried distillers grains annually. At that capacity, the plant will purchase and consume more than 15 million bushels of locally grown wheat per year. With these volumes the TGF Plant will be the largest wheat ethanol plant in North America.

The investment is part of the Government of Canada’s ecoENERGY for Biofuels program, which will invest up to C$1.5 billion (US$1.4 billion) over nine years. (Earlier post.)

Compared with gasoline, grain-based ethanol can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 40% on a life-cycle basis, according to natural resources Canada (NRC). For biodiesel, the emissions reduction can be as much as 60%.


Henry Gibson

Many statistics about grain ethanol point to the fact that for 130 units of ethanol energy about 100 units of fossil energy must be used for production. It would reduce the CO2 release levels to just grow trees on the grain lands and use an extra 30 units of fossil fuel. The trees should be able to absorb more than 30 units since the corn absorbs much more than 130 units.

There is not enough land in all of Canada and the US to meet the demands for energy with plants, and even if non-food plants are used to produce it, ethanol, itself is still a food used by many for much of their caloric intake. Bio fuel production deforested much land at the beginning of the industrial revolution.

Ethanol plants should be located where they can use nuclear heat for processing. Eventually nuclear heat can be used more directly for producing liquid fuels.

The Canadian Government should invest its money in its well designed CANDU power plants and ship large quantities of electricity to the US. A mix of two pounds of Canadian spent fuel with one pound of US used fuel can fuel such units for decades after only the fission products are removed from the massive existing supplies. Canadian newly mined uranium can be sold at high prices outside the country. ..HG..


Good for Canada. A modest entry into alcohol fuel. They've got plenty of land to grow biomass and a hearty beer industry. And to the south is a liquid fuel hungry behemoth. Question is, can Canada see beyond the tar sands to grow their NG and renewable energy industries?

Time will tell...

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