Premier Brian Pallister will up the province’s ethanol and biofuel mandates within the year, he announced in an address to producers at Manitoba Ag Days on Jan. 21.
“We’re going to have not only the cleanest electricity here in Manitoba, but the cleanest fuels as well,” Pallister said.
If put into place, the increase would fulfil a campaign promise. In the run-up to the September election, Pallister promised the Tories would increase the ethanol mandate to 10 per cent from 8.5 and the biodiesel requirement to five per cent from two.
“We cannot let the ag sector take its foot off the gas,” Pallister told his Ag Days audience. “Gas is going to need to be used. Let’s make it a little greener.”
During the election campaign, the Conservatives said the increase would bump the province’s market demand for biodiesel from 27 million litres per year to 72 million, and ethanol consumption to 176 million litres per year from 150 million.
A spokesperson from the province said it would be consulting industry stakeholders and the public in the coming months to inform of the new requirements.
The regulations don’t specify where the biofuels must be produced, but currently most of the ethanol used in Manitoba comes from the Husky plant in Minnedosa, the spokesperson said. Biodiesel is made in North Dakota and Saskatchewan.
“Biofuels will continue to be produced in Manitoba and, based on a competitive market, are expected to be supplied to support the increased renewable content requirements,” the spokesperson said.
In his address, Pallister said increasing the mandates would create jobs. The spokesperson said these jobs would come from a new biodiesel facility, as well as secondary employment from transportation and distribution.
At time of writing, the spokesperson had not confirmed if plans were in the works to build a new biodiesel facility.