Canadian Bioenergy, ADM mull Alberta biofuel plant

Wed Apr 8, 2009 1:07pm EDT
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By Rod Nickel

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan (Reuters) - Biodiesel supplier Canadian Bioenergy and crop-processing giant Archer Daniels Midland Co are carrying out a joint feasibility study that could see Canada's largest canola biodiesel plant built in Alberta.

If the project proceeds, the companies will build the plant on the site of ADM's canola-crushing plant in Lloydminster, Alberta, and produce 265 million liters (70 million gallons) a year, Canadian Bioenergy said on Tuesday.

The plant would need an annual supply of 240,000 tonnes of canola oil, crushed from about 600,000 tonnes of seed. Canada produced a record 12.6 million tonnes of the yellow-flowering crop last year.

"Anything that creates value-added processing in-market helps strengthen the canola industry," said Doug Hooper, chief executive of Canadian Bioenergy. "It's going to be good for farmers and crushers (and create) less reliance on the vagaries of export markets coming and going every year."

The Canadian canola industry has set a target of producing 15 million tonnes by 2015, with half of that crushed domestically.

The announcement of the possible new canola biodiesel plant is "fantastic news," said JoAnne Buth, president of the Canola Council of Canada by email.

"We have been waiting for this type of announcement that shows that the canola biodiesel industry in Canada is ready to move ahead."

Canadian Bioenergy has been planning a 225 million liter per year (59 million gallons) canola biodiesel plant near Edmonton, Alberta, next to Bunge Canada's oilseed-crushing plant. The company will reevaluate that project once the feasibility study is completed on the Lloydminster project with ADM, Hooper said.   Continued...