The Canadian biodiesel industry got a huge push last week when the federal government fulfilled its commitment to move forward with the Renewable Diesel Standard beginning July 1, 2011. According to Canadian Renewable Fuels Association President (CRFA) Gordon Quaiattini, the requirement to meet a 2 percent renewable diesel mandate in Canada will require nearly 600 million liters of biodiesel annually. To date, the Canadian biodiesel industry has built out about 200 liters of capacity so it will need to triple to meet the demand of the mandate.
“We think it’s certainly a milestone date for homegrown renewable biodiesel in Canada,” said Quaiattini in an interview via Skype. “As we have long been advocating, we believe strongly that biodiesel is a better way to drive and certainly an innovative way to fuel our economy in Canada.”
Quaiattini said that this mandate is a signal to investors who have a number of planned expansion projects in place to move ahead and this will ensure the industry builds out the additional capacity required to meet demand that will ramp up over the next 18 months. Oil companies, who are the obligated parties, will have until the end of 2012 for the first compliance period, and then after that, they will need to comply with the mandate each calendar year.
The CRFA has been working closely with the federal government on the mandate and will continue to do so throughout the mandatory consultation process that will begin shortly around this decision. In addition, they are working with provincial governments as well who have also passed biodiesel mandates. For example, this April, Alberta’s biodiesel mandate goes into effect. In addition, CRFA is prepared to work with companies and their investors that are interested in building out additional production capacity to ensure they understand the incentive environment that is in place.
Quaiattini closed the interview by posing the question, “What’s next?”
“It only makes sense to talk about doing more. Now that we’ve got this first 2 percent mandate coming into effect, at what pace do we look at expansion beyond it and that’s certainly going to be a discussion we’ll be having with governments here in Canada moving forward.”
You can listen to my full interview with Gordon here: Interview with Gordon Quaiattini