Admissibility Criteria

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

What are the basic admissibility criteria?

NRCan will consider signing Contribution Agreements, in accordance with Program parameters, with prospective recipients for projects that meet the following Program admissibility criteria:

  • Annual nameplate capacity – An applicant must have an annual nameplate capacity of at least 5 million litres for the production of renewable alternatives to gasoline or 3 million litres for the production of renewable alternatives to diesel. This capacity must be certified by an engineer registered in Canada on behalf of the producer of such fuels.
  • Fuel specifications – The fuel produced and claimed under the program must be made from renewable feedstock and meet the most current national or international standards for quality specification (see Definitions) of renewable alternative to gasoline and diesel.
  • 30 percent cap – For renewable alternatives to gasoline, no company will receive an operating incentive on volumes that exceed 30 percent of the Program’s 2 billion litre volume limit (i.e: 600 million litres), and for renewable alternatives to diesel, no company will receive an operating incentive on volumes that exceed 30 percent of the Program’s $500 million funding reserve (i.e: $150 million).
  • Pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA), Natural Resources Canada is required to ensure that a federal environmental assessment for the plant or facility is carried out and a positive decision rendered before funds can be released to the project.
  • Date of construction – All plants and facilities must be constructed by September 30, 2012.
  • Projects eligible for the incentive will be selected based on detailed program criteria, and subject to funding availability and fuel type.

Advanced State of Readiness

“Advanced State of Readiness” is the minimum threshold as defined by the Program, that includes specific criteria in the categories of financial, project details, environmental, management and contractual arrangements, that projects that will not be producing renewable alternatives to gasoline or diesel by March 31, 2010 will need to demonstrate.


Financial viability of the applicant:

  • Three years of Audited Financial Statements if available. If not available, then unaudited financial statements for each year or partial year of operation, up to three years.
  • Applicants must provide a current balance sheet prepared by a professional accountant, generated no earlier than 30 days prior to its application submission date which demonstrates the company is in a positive asset position (assets-liabilities).

Source of financing:

  • Demonstrate fixed and conditional financing arrangements for 100% of the estimated projected costs, where the financing sources meets the following minimum requirements:
    • >= 30% Firm financing, as per the program’s definition (based only on conditions which exist for the duration of the agreement)
    • >= 30% conditional only on receipt of an ecoENERGY for Biofuels or ecoAgriculture for Biofuels Capital Contribution Agreement
    • <= 40% subject to other conditions


Management structure:

  • List of key personnel and supporting resumes. Positions to be included are:
    • Chief Executive Officer (or equivalent senior executive position)
    • Senior Engineer,
    • Chief Financial Officer (or equivalent senior financial position)
    • Plant/Facility Manager

Project Details

Project plan:

  • Comprehensive project plan, signed by a professional engineer registered in Canada, who is employed by the prospective contractor/developer/builder, which provides a detailed description of site development, construction activities, projects costs, milestones dates and expected commissioning date. A Gantt chart or critical path should be part of the project plan. Conditional contract(s) or arrangement(s) for engineering and construction contract(s) with lead contractor(s), sub-contractor(s) and technology engineer(s).

Technology plan:

  • Process flow documentation with all relevant inputs and outputs; documentation demonstrating the selected technologies’ ability to produce at nameplate capacity and at fuel specifications acceptable to the Program. All supporting documentation under the Technology plan must be signed by a professional engineer registered in Canada.

Contribution to the renewable fuels mandate

  • The Project plan must demonstrate that the facility is capable of producing fuel in a timeframe that assists in achieving the Government mandated fuel targets. As such, construction and production of biofuels must be in alignment with the regulatory enforcement and compliance period.


Site selection:

  • Demonstrate proof of site selection; confirmation of appropriate zoning; proof of ownership or lease (for duration of the CA) or a conditional lease or purchase arrangement; confirmation that the site location is appropriate for the intended use and any site issues have been properly mitigated.

Permits, licenses and authorizations:

  • List of required permits, licenses and authorizations required by different level of governments (federal, provincial, territories and municipal). Written demonstration that applications have been submitted, including contact information with each government authority for each application.
  • List of required actions to secure permits and expected costs, with timeframes, for obtaining each permit and identify any interdependencies between various permit requirements.

Environmental assessment:

Contractual Arrangements

Equipment purchase arrangements:

  • Conditional purchase order(s) for purchase of the primary equipment and expected delivery timeframes once a contract is signed

Feedstock procurement arrangements:

  • Letter(s) of intent or conditional purchase orders for purchase of feedstock representing at least 50% of applicant’s nameplate capacity requirements

Fuel purchase arrangements:

  • Letter(s) of intent or conditional purchase orders for sale of biofuel representing at least 50% of applicant’s nameplate capacity