Feds’ fund backs Hamilton biodiesel plant

A federal biofuels incentive fund has followed through on its contribution agreement to support a Hamilton plant making biodiesel from plant oils and animal fats.

Oakville, Ont.-based Biox Canada will get up to $72.4 million in support for its Hamilton biodiesel plant through the federal ecoEnergy for Biofuels program, which signed an agreement with Biox last November.

The incentive fund, which the government said is intended to “help stabilize the Canadian renewable fuel industry,” has a budget of $1.5 billion over nine years to fund biofuel production through to the end of March 2017.

The program has so far signed contribution agreements with 23 companies, which will be entitled to incentives for up to seven consecutive years.

Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt confirmed Biox’s funding during a presentation Friday in Hamilton.

The Biox facility at Hamilton has a nameplate production capacity of 67 million litres of biodiesel per year. The company bills its plant as “one of the largest continuous flow biodiesel production facilities in the world.”

Biox’s production uses what the company describes as a “proprietary and patented” process that’s “significantly faster and achieves higher yields than competing methods.”

The company’s Hamilton plant, commissioned in April 2007, is to use the “widest variety of feedstocks ranging from pure seed oils to animal fats to recovered vegetable oils with no change to our production process.”

Biox, which has run a pilot plant at Oakville since 2001, has said its process can reach “complete conversion” of free fatty acid molecules and triglyceride molecules into methyl esters for biodiesel, “achieving yields of 1:1 without any pre-treatment.”

The company’s stated goal is to build, own and run a network of biodiesel plants “in attractive markets taking into account such factors as legislation or policies promoting the use of biodiesel, existing petroleum storage and distribution infrastructure, and the availability of feedstock.”

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