Biofuel partnership forms in Canada

By Jerry W. Kram
Web exclusive posted July 15, 2008 at 4:55 p.m. CST

Canadian Green Fuels Inc. has formed a partnership with the University of Regina and the Saskatchewan Forest Center to support biofuels and bioenergy production in Saskatchewan. "This initiative supports the industry and makes some key linkages to innovation and applications developers," said Troy Metz, chief development officer of Canadian Green Fuels and development consultant for the Saskatchewan Forest Center. "It's a $750,000 program over five years that will make some great advances in the areas of biofuel technology, energy application and commercialization. We are very pleased with the support and enthusiasm of our partners in entering this new field."

The partnership will initially be headquartered at the Canadian Green Fuels operations plant in Regina, Saskatchewan. The first project will begin testing within the next few weeks in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, once the biomass gasifier arrives.

The Saskatchewan Forest Center will play a key role in the partnership's first project of biomass gasification or "diesel made from trees and tree byproducts," said Robin Woodward, chief executive officer of the Saskatchewan Forest Center. "The Saskatchewan Forest Center will be providing specialists, expertise and leadership in the area of applied science to use the resources and knowledge to support a growing forest economy. Partnerships provide opportunities and our new direction is to link the resource, the business and the market with the science and technology to help form a renewed and savvy forest economy for Saskatchewan."

As the first project gets underway, the three partners will establish the relevant legal entities and establish corporate charters. Their goal is to make the partnership a model for public-private partnerships in innovative industries. The research and technology partnership will also establish an advisory council, consisting of various interested, non-funding parties in Saskatchewan and in Canada. "Having commercial, non-profit and academic relationships that can come together to find solutions for ‘green' priorities, particularly in the area of oil and gas, is a rarity at best and we are highly optimistic at the outcomes for the entire industry from the efforts in this new venture," said Ian Bailey, director of the University-Industry Liaison Office at the University of Regina.