Author: 800 CHAB NEWS

The Biodiesel Development Task Force today presented the Province with its final report and recommendations for advancing Saskatchewan's biodiesel industry.

"A window of opportunity exists for Saskatchewan to excel in the area of biofuels," Agriculture and Food Minister Mark Wartman said. "This report will provide the information necessary to advance the biodiesel side of the industry."

The Task Force consulted with key stakeholders to examine the current status, challenges and opportunities of Saskatchewan's biodiesel industry. The report's recommendations ask the Province to work with the Government of Canada to:

• develop trade-compliant programs and policies for the biodiesel industry;

• develop a National Bio-Products Centre located in Saskatoon;

• fund research and testing on standards for performance-based specifications, and establish a program to help companies meet biodiesel approved standards;

• promote business structures that facilitate Canadian primary producer investment in biodiesel production facilities;

• evaluate options in a distribution system that provides equity opportunities for all interested parties; and

• continue research and development, commercialization of new products and the expansion of the biodiesel industry.

"It has been challenging to develop recommendations and direction for an industry still very much in its infancy," Biodiesel Development Task Force co-chair Judie Dyck said. "Both the provincial and federal governments will need to be involved to develop a plan if Saskatchewan is to benefit from a biodiesel industry."

"I met with federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Chuck Strahl in March to request action on a national renewable fuels mandate, an initial recommendation of the Task Force," Wartman said. "We continue to push for a renewable fuel standard and measures that encourage producer involvement in fuel manufacturing and the use of Western Canadian feed stocks."

The Government of Saskatchewan has also promoted biodiesel in the Premier's summer bus tour and in vehicles used to transport athletes at the Canada Summer Games. In April, the Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC) announced a 12-month test of biodiesel in more than half of the provincial bus fleet. A $10,000 contribution was also made to a cost-benefit analysis of biodiesel being conducted at the University of Saskatchewan.

"I'd like to thank the Task Force for their hard work in preparing this final report," Wartman said. "Biofuels present a tremendous opportunity for this province and we will continue to work hard to move Saskatchewan's biodiesel industry forward."

The Biodiesel Development Task Force final report is available at www.agr.gov.sk.ca, or by calling the Saskatchewan Canola Growers Association at 1-800-690-5788.