News and Updates

March , 2012 – ecoENERGY for Biofuels Program Update

Contribution agreements have been signed for all eligible producers. Together these 32 agreements (17 ethanol and 15 biodiesel) are forecast to deliver 1,807 million litres per year of ethanol and 504 million litres per year of biodiesel by December 2012.

December, 2011 – ecoENERGY for Biofuels Program Update

The program currently has 33 signed contribution agreements (17 ethanol and 16 biodiesel) and the amendment for the last eligible project (ethanol) is being finalized.

Together these 33 agreements are forecast to deliver 1,807 million litres per year of ethanol and 507 million litres per year of biodiesel by December 2012.

October, 2011 – ecoENERGY for Biofuels Program Update

The program currently has 30 signed contribution agreements (17 ethanol and 13 biodiesel) and the 9 remaining agreements or amendments (3 ethanol and 6 biodiesel) are at various stages of internal review. Taken together these projects are forecast to deliver 1807 million litres per year of ethanol and 555 million litres per year of biodiesel by December 2012.

June, 2011 – ecoENERGY for Biofuels Program Update

Natural Resources Canada continues to negotiate and sign contribution agreements with successful applicants.

The Program currently has 31 signed Contribution Agreements and is finalizing remaining agreements or amendments.

March, 2011 – ecoENERGY for Biofuels Program Update

Natural Resources Canada continues to negotiate and sign contribution agreements with successful applicants.

Based on updated financial projections, the program can now negotiate full coverage for another project that was previously offered funding for partial production only. The program can also offer a contribution agreement covering partial production for the two remaining qualified projects that were previously unfunded. Should addtional funds become available in the future (a project is reduced in scope, contribution agreement is terminated or producers produce at less than the maximum covered in their contribution agreement), funding priority would be given to these two projects to allow coverage of their full production.

January, 2011 – ecoENERGY for Biofuels Program Update

Natural Resources Canada continues to negotiate and sign contribution agreements with successful applicants and conduct Environmental Assessments when deemed appropriate for eligible projects.

Based on updated financial projections, the program can now negotiate full coverage for one of the projects that would otherwise be offered funding for partial production only. There still remains one project that will be offered a contribution agreement covering partial production only and two that remain unfunded. Should funds become available in the future (either a contribution agreement is terminated or producers produce at less than the maximum covered in their contribution agreement), funding priority will be given to these three qualified projects.

December, 2010 – ecoENERGY for Biofuels Program Update

Natural Resources Canada continues to negotiate and sign contribution agreements with successful applicants and conduct Environmental Assessments when deemed appropriate for eligible projects.

Once a contribution agreement has been successfully negotiated and signed, the project will be listed on the ecoENERGY for Biofuels website under "Successful Applicants".

November 1, 2010 – ecoENERGY for Biofuels Program Update

In October, letters of conditional approval were sent to all remaining successful applicants. Letters of regret were also sent to those whose applications did not successfully demonstrate an advanced state of readiness in accordance with program criteria.

To date, eleven contribution agreements or amendments have been sent to existing producers for concurrence. The remaining contribution agreements for new producers are currently being prepared and once reviewed internally, will be sent to companies in the coming weeks for concurrence. Natural Resources Canada will be conducting Environmental Assessments when deemed appropriate for eligible projects.

Once a contribution agreement has been successfully negotiated and signed, the project will be listed on the ecoENERGY for Biofuels website under Successful Applicants.

October 1, 2010 – ecoENERGY for Biofuels Program Update

In September, the Program finalized and communicated all eligibility decisions to existing producers. Results for new producers of the "advanced state of readiness" assessment were validated by a third party, as were results of the merit assessment and respective ranking for those who successfully demonstrated an "advanced state of readiness".

The Program has now rendered and officially communicated final decisions for all remaining applications.

From the 48 complete applications;

  • 13 existing producers
    • 11 were deemed eligible (representing a potential of $119.81 M and 195 ML of biofuel by March 2012 and increasing to a maximum of 222 ML thereafter)
      • ethanol – to a maximum of 102 ML
      • biodiesel – to a maximum of 120 ML
    • 2 were deemed ineligible (did not meet eligibility criteria)
  • 35 new producers
    • 14 successfully demonstrated an "advanced state of readiness" and are eligible for funding (representing a potential of $406.53 M and 582 ML of biofuel by March 2012 and increasing to a maximum of 950 ML thereafter)
      • ethanol – to a maximum of 544 ML
      • biodiesel – to a maximum of 406 ML
      Based on the current analysis, the program will not be able to fund all of the 14 applications at this time. Negotiations will begin for full coverage on ten projects, two projects will be offered contribution agreements covering partial production and two remain unfunded. Should funds become available in the future (either a contribution agreement is terminated or producers produce at less than the maximum covered in their contribution agreement), funding priority will be given to these four qualified projects.
    • 20 were unsuccessful in demonstrating and "advanced state of readiness"
    • 1 was withdrawn.

Draft contribution agreements will now be prepared and presented to successful applicants for their review and concurrence.

Public announcements of successful projects may only be made once a contribution agreement has been successfully negotiated and signed. Once a contribution agreement is signed, the project will be listed on the Successful Applicants page.

August 1, 2010 – ecoENERGY for Biofuels Program Update

To date the Program has determined from the 68 applications received that:

  • 48 applications were deemed to be complete;
    • 13 from existing producers (representing a potential of $139.24M and 222 ML litres of biofuel by March 2012 and increasing thereafter)
      • 8 were deemed eligible
      • 3 decisions are pending
      • 2 were deemed ineligible (did not meet eligibility criteria)
    • 35 from new producers (representing a potential of $1,263.44M and 1,359 ML litres of biofuel by March 2012 and increasing thereafter)
      • 14 successfully demonstrated an "advanced state of readiness"
      • 20 determinations of advanced state of readiness are pending responses to clarification questions
      • 1 withdrawn
  • 15 applications were deemed incomplete;
  • 4 were deemed ineligible due to fuel type; and
  • 1 application was withdrawn early in process.

Official notification has been sent to all applicants where decisions have been rendered. As the remaining decisions are rendered on eligibility and ability to demonstrate an "advanced state of readiness", they too will be communicated as soon as the determination is made.

Merit assessment results and respective ranking for new producers, who successfully demonstrated an "advanced state of readiness", will be communicated to all those implicated on the same day.

Natural Resources Canada aims to make final decisions based on highest ranked projects by fuel type, subject to funding availability and volume targets in the summer of 2010.

July 1, 2010 – ecoENERGY for Biofuels Program Update

In June, the Program completed the assessment of the 35 applications from new producers against the "advanced state of readiness" criteria.

To date the Program has determined from the 68 applications received that:

  • 48 applications were deemed to be complete;
    • 13 from existing producers (representing a potential of $139.24M and 222 ML litres of biofuel by March 2012 and increasing thereafter)
      • 8 were deemed eligible
      • 3 decisions are pending
      • 2 were deemed ineligible (did not meet eligibility criteria)
    • 35 from new producers (representing a potential of $1,263.44M and 1,359 ML litres of biofuel by March 2012 and increasing thereafter)
      • 7 successfully demonstrated an “advanced state of readiness”
      • 27 determinations of advanced state of readiness are pending responses to clarification questions
      • 1 withdrawn
  • 15 applications were deemed incomplete;
  • 4 were deemed ineligible due to fuel type; and
  • 1 application was withdrawn early in process.

Official notification has been sent to all applicants where decisions have been rendered. As the remaining decisions are rendered on eligibility and ability to demonstrate an “advanced state of readiness”, they too will be communicated as soon as the determination is made.

Merit assessment results and respective ranking for new producers, who successfully demonstrated an “advanced state of readiness”, will be communicated to all those implicated on the same day.

Natural Resources Canada aims to make final decisions based on highest ranked projects by fuel type, subject to funding availability and volume targets in the summer of 2010.

June 1, 2010 – ecoENERGY for Biofuels Program Update

In May, the Program completed the assessment of the 13 complete applications from existing producers against program criteria and applicants were notified of their eligibility status. Draft contribution agreements are being prepared and will be sent to those who have received a "Letter of Conditional Approval" for review and concurrence. Once concurred to, a final version will be sent for signature.

The program is currently assessing the 35 complete applications from new producers against the "advance state of readiness" criteria. Projects that are not successful in demonstrating "advanced state of readiness" will be informed that their application will be given no further consideration.

The projects that successfully demonstrate this minimum threshold will be receiving a letter informing them that they were successful and their application will undergo a full merit-based assessment against all program criteria. All projects assessed under this process will be rated against each criteria by an interdepartmental committee. Each project will then be ranked according to the total score it receives. NRCan will send letters of conditional approval to applicants in order of highest rank, by fuel type, subject to funding availability and target needs.

Natural Resources Canada aims to make final decisions in the summer of 2010.

May 1, 2010 – ecoENERGY for Biofuels Program Update

The Program has reviewed the 68 applications received, from both existing and new producers, for completeness and determined that:

  • 48 applications were deemed to be complete;
    • 13 from existing producers (representing a potential of $139.24M and 222 ML litres of biofuel by March 2012 and increasing thereafter)
    • 35 from new producers (representing a potential of $1,263.44M and 1,359 ML litres of biofuel by March 2012 and increasing thereafter)
  • 15 applications were deemed incomplete;
  • 4 were deemed ineligible; and
  • 1 application was withdrawn.

The Program will send official notification to companies whose applications were deemed incomplete and therefore their projects will receive no further consideration.

The Program is now assessing the 13 complete applications from existing producers against program criteria and will soon be notifying applicants of their eligibility status. Contribution agreement negotiations will begin immediately thereafter for those who receive a "Letter of Conditional Approval".

Once the decisions on all existing producers are made, the Program will begin to assess the 35 complete applications from new producers against the "advance state of readiness" criteria. Projects that successfully demonstrate this minimum threshold, will receive a letter informing them that their application will undergo a full merit-based assessment against all program criteria. Natural Resources Canada aims to make final decisions based on highest ranked projects by fuel type, subject to funding availability and volume targets in the summer of 2010.

April 1, 2010 – ecoENERGY for Biofuels Program Update

The deadline to apply to the ecoENERGY for Biofuels program was March 31, 2010. The program is no longer accepting applications.

To date, the program has received 68 applications representing approximately $2,061M and the potential production of 540 million litres of renewable alternatives to gasoline and 1576 million litres of renewable alternatives to diesel per year by March 2012. Currently, $473 million is available within the program budget.

The program will work swiftly to assess applications against full program criteria and deem projects eligible. Final funding decisions will be made subject to funding availability and program volume targets.

February 17, 2010 – ecoENERGY for Biofuels Program February update

There continues to be positive response from the ecoEnergy for Biofuels Program changes announced on December 14, 2009. Since the changes were announced, the Program has received 93 expressions of interest from new and existing producers.

  • 17 projects from "existing producers" worth approximately $236M (including requests for volume increases to existing contribution agreements)
  • 76 projects from "new producers" worth approximately $2.02B (including requests for volume increases to existing contribution agreements)
  • To date the program has 21 signed Contribution Agreements representing a total commitment of $966M ($765M Ethanol and $201M biodiesel) with a potential production of 1.6 billion litres attainable by 2011/12.
  • Note that the program has an allocation of $1.438B to attain its volume targets of 2 billion litres of renewable alternatives to gasoline and 500 million litres of renewable alternatives to diesel by 2011/12.
  • Existing producers are advised to complete the new program application as soon as possible to give ample time for the program to assess it and provide comments in advance of March 31, 2010.

New producers must clearly demonstrate the "advanced state of readiness" of their project by March 31, 2010. In order to do this, complete applications with all supporting documents need to be sent to the program as soon as possible.

All interested applicants are reminded that no information (e.g. changes to the application or missing documentation) will be accepted after the March 31, 2010 deadline.

January 12, 2010 – ecoENERGY for Biofuels Program Changes update

Reaction to the ecoEnergy for Biofuels Program changes announced on December 14, 2009, has been extremely positive. In the two weeks following the announcement, the Program received 85 expressions of interest from new and existing producers.

  • 16 projects from "existing producers" worth approximately $232M (including requests for volume increases to existing contribution agreements)
  • 69 projects from "new producers" worth approximately $1.89B (including requests for volume increases to existing contribution agreements)
  • To date the program has 21 signed contribution agreements representing a total commitment of $965M ($765M Ethanol and $200M biodiesel) with a potential production of 1.6 billion litres attainable by 2011/12. Note that the program has an allocation of $1.438B to attain its volume targets of 2 billion litres of renewable alternatives to gasoline and 500 million litres of renewable alternatives to diesel by 2011/12.

In accordance with new program parameters, the program will first seek to commit from the remaining $473 million for existing producers who will be in production by March 31, 2010 and who meet all program requirements.

Funds not allocated to existing producers by arch 31, 2010, will be used to support the highest ranked projects from new producers that were able to successfully demonstrate an advanced state of readiness by March 31, 2010. Those projects will undergo a comprehensive merit-based assessment and be rated and ranked. Final funding decisions will be based on ranking by fuel type, subject to volume target needs and funding availability.

Based on the significant interest in the program, it is important for companies to submit a completed application as soon as possible. This will allow the program to review the material and comment on its adherence to program requirements and for applicants to make adjustments in advance of the March 31, 2010 application deadline.

No information (e.g. changes to the application or missing documentation) will be accepted after the March 31, 2010 deadline.

Note that a separate application must be completed for each production plant or facility, an expansion of a plant or facility, or expanded volumes for those with existing contribution agreements.

December 14, 2009 ecoENERGY for Biofuels Program Changes

Following 18 months of Program delivery, there continues to be strong market interest in the ecoENERGY for Biofuels Program and in expanding Canada’s production of renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel.

Over the last several months, Natural Resources Canada has worked with other federal departments to conduct an interim assessment of the ecoENERGY for Biofuels Program. During this assessment, it became apparent that some of the Program parameters, coupled with the economic climate, are challenging the viability of biofuels projects. Adjustments are being made to ensure that the Program operates as effectively as possible to meet its renewable fuels target.

Six modifications to the Program design have been implemented, effective December 14, 2009. These changes are intended to providmore predictable and stable payments for renewable fuel production and to ensure that the Program supports the most viable projects leading to long-term sustainable growth in the renewable fuel industry.

ecoENERGY for Biofuels
Program Design Changes
Previously
(April 1, 2008-December 13, 2009)
New
As of December 14, 2009
Variable incentive rate calculated and paid quarterly based on market conditions Fixed, declining incentive rate with monthly payments

*(retroactive to April 1, 2008)
Same eligibility criteria for all producers New eligibility criteria have been introduced. "Existing producers" will be defined as those capable of producing biofuel by March 31, 2010. "New producers" will be defined as those that, although not producing by March 31, 2010, are able to demonstrate an "advanced state of readiness" as defined by the Program.
Assess and approve applications in the order in which they are deemed complete (subject to funding availability and fuel type as needed to meet Program volume target) New merit-based assessment criteria for project selection has been established for projects (new producers) demonstrating the minimum threshold of "advanced state of readiness"
Construction deadline of March 31, 2011 Construction deadline of September 30, 2012
30 percent cap – No individual company will receive an operating incentive on volumes that exceed 30 percent of the Program's total eligible volumes based on fuel type. 30 percent monetary-based cap for renewable alternatives to diesel.

30 percent cap of total eligible volumes will remain the same for renewable alternatives to gasoline
Funding profile based on demand projections prior to Program launch. Reallocation of Program funds within the existing fiscal framework will better align funds to the actual volumes expected for the remaining years of the Program.

Moving Forward

On December 14, 2009, stakeholders were informed of Program changes and asked to express, by December 21, 2009, their intention to participate in the Program under the new rules and to self-identify whether they are "new" or "existing" producers in accordance with Program definitions.

Program administrators will contact all those who express an interest in participating in the Program and fully explain the process moving forward.

For more information please visit "Application Requirements" web pages.


August 21, 2009 – ecoENERGY for Biofuels program

Following ecoENERGY for Biofuels' first year of operation, there continues to be a strong market interest in the program and in expanding Canada's renewable fuel production such as ethanol and biodiesel.

To date, ecoENERGY for Biofuels has received 54 applications and the program has deemed 27 applicants to be eligible for funding. Natural Resources Canada has signed contribution agreements with 23 successful applicants, both existing and proposed facilities. Payments are being made on a quarterly basis to facilities currently in production that have a signed contribution agreement and for which all environmental requirements have been fulfilled.

The program can only sign contribution agreements within its financial authority and must operate within its annual budget. As previously announced, based on the department's current review, the ecoENERGY for Biofuels program may not be able to fund all of the applications in hand.

The ecoENERGY for Biofuels program continues to assess applications in the order in which they were deemed complete. Natural Resources Canada is processing applications as quickly as possible while still exercising the due diligence associated with providing government funds. The program is finalizing contribution agreements with companies that have been deemed eligible to date and will be in a position to deem additional companies eligible in the coming weeks.

Should some projects not move forward, additional applicants will be considered for funding. Preference could be given to renewable alternatives to gasoline or to renewable alternatives to diesel, depending on progress towards achieving program targets for each fuel type.

Incentive rates for Quarter 1, Fiscal Year 2009-2010.

For alternatives to gasoline (ethanol):

Quarter 1 FY 2009-2010 10 cents/litre

For alternatives to diesel:

Biodiesel companies receiving payments have been notified of the rates for Quarter 1. Due to the small number of companies involved, the program will not be making these rates public in order to protect commercial confidentiality.


November 24, 2008 – ecoENERGY for Biofuels program

There is a strong market interest in the new ecoENERGY for Biofuels program and in expanding Canada’s production of renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel.

Status of Applications

The program is finalizing contribution agreements with companies that have completed the application process and have been deemed eligible. Payments commence once an agreement has been signed and all environmental requirements have been fulfilled.

The ecoENERGY for Biofuels program is continuing to process applications in the order in which they are found to be complete. The program will be in a position to deem additional companies eligible over the coming weeks.

The program can only sign contribution agreements within its financial authority and must operate within its annual budget. Based on the department’s current review, the ecoENERGY for Biofuels program may not be able to fund all of the applications received to date.

Should some projects not move forward, additional applicants will be considered for funding. Preference could be given to alternatives to gasoline or to alternatives to diesel, depending on progress towards achieving program targets for each fuel type.

Incentive rates

For alternatives to gasoline (ethanol):

Quarter 1 1.5 cents/litre
Quarter 2 7.8 cents/litre

For alternatives to diesel (biodiesel):

Biodiesel companies receiving payments have been notified of the rates for Quarter 1 and/or Quarter 2. Due to the small number of companies involved, the program will not be making these rates public in order to protect commercial confidentiality.


April 25, 2008 – ecoENERGY for Biofuels program open for business

The parameters for the ecoENERGY for Biofuels program have been finalized and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is accepting applications.

The program Web site has been updated with key details for potential applicants, including the following:

The incentive rate – the amount that recipients will receive per litre of renewable fuel produced – will be determined as follows:

Incentive Rate = Profitability Margin – Industry Margin

  • The profitability margin for renewable alternatives to gasoline has been set for nine years at $0.29L in order to provide producers with a more secure investment climate.
  • The profitability margin for renewable alternatives to diesel has been set for the first year at $0.32L.This reflects current market conditions and will be revised as this emerging industry develops.

The incentive payments will be made on a quarterly basis, following receipt of claims submitted to the program, to proponents who have signed a Contribution Agreement with NRCan and whose environmental assessment is complete.


Program Update

April 10, 2008 – Natural Resource Canada announces changes to the ecoENERGY for Biofuels program

Based on feedback during discussions with industry stakeholders, Natural Resources Canada has made three key improvements to the design of the program. This delayed the program launch. The changes include:

  • The incentive rate calculation will now amount to 100% of what industry requires on average to achieve a 20% rate of return, after accounting for other government support and subject to maximum rates.
  • Projects in the advanced development stage will now also be eligible to apply for the program, instead of just completed projects.
  • Reporting requirements and timing of payments will no longer be on a semi-annual basis and the program is considering alternatives.

Our Web site will be updated shortly to provide all the details on the program and we expect to begin processing applications shortly.