Manitoba Government News Release:
Information Services, Room 29, Legislative Building, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 0V8 Telephone: (204) 
945-3746 Fax: (204) 945-3988

June 07, 2005


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Manitoba Hydro Purchases Clean Fuel for Fleet from Arborg's Bifrost Bio-Blends

Manitoba achieved a milestone today in its plan to develop clean, affordable energy sources with the first commercial sale of provincially-produced biodiesel fuel to Manitoba Hydro, Energy, Science and Technology Minister Dave Chomiak announced today with Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Rosann Wowchuk.

“Biodiesel is one of the building blocks of Manitoba’s clean energy plan, complementing other energy sources such as hydroelectric power, wind and ethanol,” Chomiak said. “I applaud these two Manitoba companies — Bifrost Bio-Blends of Arborg and Manitoba Hydro — for pursuing opportunities that make good economic and good environmental sense.”

Biodiesel is a safe, non-toxic, renewable fuel made from a variety of sources such as vegetable oils, animal fats from rendering facilities and used restaurant oils and grease. It is biodegradable in water, produces fewer emissions and has a more pleasant odour than petroleum diesel.

“Biodiesel will benefit our agriculture industry as Manitobans move to take advantage of the growing popularity of cost-efficient, clean-burning biodiesel fuel,” said Wowchuk. “The Bifrost Bio-Blends plant has created a new market for Manitoba-grown crops including a variety of off-grade oil seed crops. I am excited about the potential of biodiesel to provide an additional source of revenue to Manitoba’s farm families and an economic opportunity for rural communities.”

Biodiesel fuel creates less air-borne particle matter, carcinogenic air toxins, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions from vehicles than regular diesel fuel. An end product of biodiesel production is glycerine which can be used in the cosmetics, food and pharmaceutical industries.

“Biodiesel fuel does not require specialized equipment modifications, so it works in vehicles just like regular diesel, making it economical to produce and use,” said Lemieux. “Also, it ignites at a higher temperature so it is a safer product to store and transport.”

A major benefit of biodiesel is its superior lubricating effect that can reduce engine wear. Engine life has been shown to be increased by 50 to 100 per cent due to the increased lubricating effect of biodiesel.

“We are proud to be part of this giant environmental step forward in using this renewable energy source,” said Bob Brennan, president and CEO of Manitoba Hydro. “As well as providing environmental benefits and support for local industry, it has the potential to reduce maintenance costs and downtime for our fleet vehicles and create a healthier work environment for our employees.”

The Arborg plant is the first plant in Manitoba and one of only four in Canada to produce biodiesel fuel. Other plants are located in Saskatchewan, Quebec and Nova Scotia.

“The world is demanding a cleaner, more environmentally-friendly energy source from traditional fossil fuels and biodiesel is the answer,” said Paul Bobbee, president and owner of Bifrost Bio-Blends. “Our plant currently has a production capacity of 1,600 litres per day using locally-available oil seed crops and is ready to deliver 9,000 litres of biodiesel fuel for use in Manitoba Hydro vehicles.”

Biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine either in its pure form, known as B100 or neat biodiesel, or in a blend with petroleum diesel. The most popular blends are B2 and B20, which contain two and 20 per cent biodiesel by volume respectively.

In 2003, the province created the Manitoba Biodiesel Advisory Council to review the biodiesel production industry and its potential development in Manitoba. Bifrost Bio-Blends and Manitoba Hydro were both members of the council.

Following extensive industry-based consultation, the council recommended the province encourage the production of consumption of biodiesel fuel in Manitoba to help develop a biodiesel industry that will use primarily Manitoba-grown and produced feedstocks, creating sustainable long-term jobs and other economic, environmental and social benefits.

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