Expanded Alta. ethanol plant gets $23M

A federal program to boost Canada’s production of biofuels will put up $23.2 million to back processor Permolex’s facility at Red Deer, Alta.

The investment, announced Wednesday in Red Deer by the federal natural resources department, flows through the ecoEnergy for Biofuels Initiative, a nine-year, $1.5 billion “operating incentive” fund launched in 2007.

The Permolex facility, which started operating in 1998 as API Grain Processors, is a grain fractionation plant processing feed-grade wheat into flour, gluten and ethanol, allowing one process’ byproducts to be used as feedstock in the next.

After Permolex Ltd. took over the facility in 2003, the plant was expanded with $1.1 million in support, announced by the former federal Liberal government in 2005, through its Ethanol Expansion Program.

“I’m very pleased to express our thanks to the government of Canada for its partnership in making this state-of-the-art facility possible, and helping to make sure Permolex remains a part of this community for many years to come,” Permolex CEO Doug MacKenzie said in the federal government’s release Wednesday.

“This will help create local jobs and economic opportunities for local businesses, both of which are more important than ever given the current global recession,” Red Deer MP Earl Dreeshen said in the release.

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