B.C. vitamin maker’s ethanol plans on hold

A Vancouver vitamin and nutritional supplement firm has halted its own baby steps toward the U.S. ethanol market.

Vitality Products said Tuesday it has suspended its plans for a feasibility study of an ethanol plant in Whatcom County in northwestern Washington state. The company said in April 2007 it would set up a new division, Vitality Fuels, to make ethanol and biodiesel and “co-products” such as nutraceuticals and animal feed.

In April 2008, the company said it was making “significant progress” in completing a feasibility study with an eye toward building a facility by the spring of 2011, but was facing delays in finding a suitable site.

The company then said in mid-September this year that it was waiting on confirmation from British Petroleum (BP), the new owners of its preferred site in Whatcom County, that the piece of land in question would be available for sale. Vitality said it couldn’t complete the feasibility study without a specific site selection finalized.

Lastly, on Tuesday, citing “current credit market and ethanol market conditions,” Vitality said it “deems it is prudent and strategic to suspend the feasibility study.”

Vitality said it’s still “committed to completing the feasibility study” of its Whatcom County proposal “once market conditions improve.”

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