Alta. biodiesel maker backed to process animal fats, oils

In a way, the federal government plans to pour funding into Kyoto for reduction of greenhouse gases.

The government on Wednesday announced it will invest up to $31.14 million over six years in Lethbridge, Alta.-based Kyoto Fuels Corp. to produce biodiesel from converted vegetable oil, cooking oil and/or animal fat.

Funding for Kyoto will come from the nine-year, $1.5 billion ecoEnergy for Biofuels program, which stopped accepting applications as of March 31 last year.

Kyoto Fuels said it plans to sell its product to diesel producers in Western Canada and the northwestern U.S., through a plant built to process up to 66 million litres of biodiesel per year.

The ecoEnergy program’s operating incentive pays up to 26 cents per litre of eligible sales in the first year of the program, declining in subsequent years. A Canada-wide requirement of two per cent renewable content in all diesel fuel sold in this country took effect July 1 this year.

"In addition to employing 20 well-qualified technicians, other industries such as transportation and distribution will benefit from our production," Kyoto CEO Kelsey Prenovost said in the government’s release.

The government in December 2009 announced changes to the program’s parameters, in which it planned to look first to commit the remaining funds to existing producers who would be in production by March 31, 2010 and met all program requirements.

Funds not allocated to existing producers by that deadline were to then be used to support the highest-ranked projects from new producers who were able to successfully show an "advanced state of readiness" by the application deadline.

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