Gary Goodyear, the minister of state for the federal economic development agency for southern Ontario, came to town Thursday dangling a $200 million carrot while serving up a bitter dose of reality.
“The industrial revolution’s over,” warned Goodyear. “This is the technology revolution. Manufacturing has to accept the fact that for them to remain competitive they have to use the lightest product.
“They have to use the fastest assembly line, they have to use the latest inventory software and all of these new technologies – many of which are developed here in Ontario – have to be purchased.”
Not only do businesses have to recalibrate, municipalities and their economic development corporations need to focus on the new reality.
Official IGPC plant opening in Aylmer, December, 2008
Construction of the Alymer-based Integrated Grain Processors Co-op Inc. ethanol plant began in mid-2007. The facility has been operational since Oct. 1, 2008. In addition to producing 162 million liters (43 million gallons) of corn-based ethanol annually, the plant also produces approximately 129,600 tons of distillers grains each year.
The plant is owned by a cooperative made up of approximately 900 members. Ownership is nearly evenly split between regional farmers and other representatives of agriculture-related businesses. The facility was capitalized in part by equity investment by the facilities ownership. Additional capitalization was sourced from a consortium of banks and federal and provincial government incentive programs.
In its study, Doyletech found that construction of the plant contributed to a net spending increase within the region of approximately $275 million, was well as an annual increase of at least $50 million in new economic spending in the region as a direct consequence of the plant’s operations.
Ethanol is the gift that keeps on giving – but only to corn-growers and opportunistic automakers. For taxpayers, however, it’s a dream that failed and a rat-hole down which our governments keep pouring our tax money. This useless boondoggle must stop.
Last week, CanWest News Service reported on a government memo that says clearly that Ottawa’s costly effort to promote E85 fuel – industry shorthand for 85 per cent ethanol and 15 per cent ordinary gasoline – will do no good.
In fact, we believe the whole push for ethanol – produced mainly from corn in Canada – will bring no actual reductions in total greenhouse gas emissions, but will cost taxpayers $2.2 billion in federal subsidies, plus more from provinces, especially Ontario.
Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO) said on Friday it has revived plans for a C$120 million ($111 million) expansion of its Sarnia, Ontario, ethanol plant in another sign the chill in energy investments is easing.
Suncor said the project would double output of the renewable fuel additive to 400 million litres (106 million gallons) a year by late 2010 or early 2011.
The company deferred the project at the start of the year as financial and energy markets skidded. It was initially to have been completed by the end of this year.
Construction will create 350 jobs in the Sarnia-Lambton area of southern Ontario.
Ottawa’s push to use high-level ethanol fuel in cars is doing little or nothing to cut Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions nor will it, says a government briefing note prepared for Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt and obtained by Canwest News Service.
Moreover, government officials have warned Raitt that giving automakers credits toward new fuel efficiency standards by making cars that can use environmentally friendly E85 fuel will not actually reduce emissions because those cars will never actually use the ‘green’ fuel and will continue to use regular gasoline.
WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Canada’s rescue plan of the hog industry will fail to save it because the government continues to support ethanol production, the industry’s rival for feed grain supplies, a report by an independent farm research centre said on Wednesday.
The Canadian government said on Saturday it will pay some farmers to stop raising hogs and offer loans to help others restructure. Canada’s hog industry is in crisis, with high feed prices, a buoyant Canadian dollar, fears about H1N1 flu and a U.S. food labelling law making pig farming unprofitable.
A mandate from the Canadian government, starting next year, that oil companies must market fuel with 5 percent renewable content, has spurred rapid expansion of ethanol production. That’s driving up prices of corn and feed wheat, from which ethanol is produced and which farmers feed to cattle and pigs.
The point here is that ethanol can be a big problem for engines, engine systems, certain types of fuel tanks and fuel lines. So as governments, ethanol producers and various proponents promote efforts to increase the amount of ethanol in fuel to 15 per cent from five to 10 per cent now, we should all take a deep breath.