Feds pledge $85M for Ont. ethanol plant

A new southwestern Ontario corn ethanol facility that just geared up to full production late last year is booked to get $84.76 million in federal support over seven years.

The Integrated Grain Processors Co-operative’s (IGPC) facility at Aylmer, about 35 km southeast of London, held its grand opening in December after starting production in October 2008.

Its new federal funds will flow through Ottawa’s $1.5 billion, nine-year ecoEnergy for Biofuels program.

IGPC CEO Jim Grey said in a federal release Wednesday that the Canadian government can take pride in its contribution to what he called “the largest start-up co-operative in Canadian history.”

IGPC, formed in 2002 and now including 850 farmer and community members, completed construction last year on its $140 million facility, which has production capacity for about 150 million litres of fuel-grade ethanol per year.

The co-op’s plant is expected to use about 15 million bushels of corn per year, or about six per cent of total Ontario corn production.

The co-op’s support from government for the Aylmer plant to date has included $3.9 million from the federal ecoAgriculture Biofuels Capital (ecoABC) initiative in March last year, plus other funds from CanAdapt, the federal Ethanol Expansion Program, the Ontario Ethanol Growth Fund and the Ontario Community Transition program.

The ecoEnergy for Biofuels program, announced in 2007, is separately intended to encourage the development of a “strong, competitive renewable fuels industry in Canada.”

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