North America's Largest Wheat-Based Ethanol Plant Opens in Saskatchewan


image: Terra Grains Fuels

At least south of the 49th parallel, when most people think of ethanol they think of corn. However up in Saskatchewan wheat is being tapped to produce the biofuel, and has gotten a big boost with the opening of a new biorefinery.

Locally-Sourced Wheat to be Feedstock
Located near Belle Plaine, Saskatchewan, the Terra Grains Fuels ethanol plant has officially opened and is claiming to be the largest wheat ethanol project in North America. The $130-million plant will produce approximately 150 million liters (40 million gallons) of ethanol and nearly 164,000 tonnes of dried distiller grains annually. To do this the plant will require 15 million bushels of wheat each year, which Terra Grains says it will be sourcing locally.
All of the ethanol produced is destined for the Canadian market, with the distiller grains to be sold in Europe and Asia as a protein supplement for animal feed.

"5% of Output Will Meet Biofuels Mandate"
Obviously, as wheat is the feedstock, the food versus fuel debate is bound to pop up in people’s minds. But Canada’s Federal Agriculture Minister was quoted brushing off such concerns,

I don’t think there’s a debate there. Once people realize that we can do both, we can feed both streams farmers will be the big benefactors of that, processors will benefit with new and improved varieties of wheat. It’s just a win/win all the way around. It takes less than 5% of our production capability in Canada to meet our biofuels mandate.

Somehow I don’t think that assurance will settle the matter...

via :: DiscoverMooseJaw.com, :: Terra Grains Fuels and :: Biofuels Digest
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Tags: Biofuels | Canada | Ethanol | Renewable Energy