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Canada Will Need To Import Ethanol

Canada will need to import ethanol in order to meet its 2010 ethanol production target of two billion litres per year, according to an official with the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA).

Ethanol output in Canada is currently in the 1.731-billion-litre range. The five per cent national renewable fuels mandate that will be implemented by the federal government will come into effect September 1, 2010.

Gordon Quaiattini, CRFA president, said the process of passing the final regulatory process is underway with an expected completion date of June 2010.

“There are a number of ethanol plants in Canada undergoing expansion which will eventually help to expand capacity closer to the two-billion-litre level that is required,” Quaiattini said. “However, the reality is that despite all the projects and planned expansions, and the fact the government will likely add some further eco-energy reforms, there will be a need to import some ethanol.”

He said the federal government has made $1.5 billion in funding available for processors to add capacity to existing ethanol production facilities.

Quaiattini said the CRFA recognizes this and the fact there is room for ethanol imports under an open North American fuels market. “So we understand that there will be opportunities for imports of ethanol from Brazil and the U. S., as we believe there will also be eventual opportunities to sell Canadian ethanol offshore,” he said. Much of the ethanol expansion in Canada has been tied to the federal government’s renewable fuels mandate, Quaiattini said. That five per cent represents about 2.5 billion to three billion litres of ethanol and/or biodiesel.

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