Recent History – 2002
April 11, 2002
DAWSON CREEK — The possibility of building B.C.’s first ethanol plant will be the focus of a conference later this month.
Entitled “An Ethanol Industry Opportunity for Your Community,” the event will be held on Saturday, April 27 at the George Dawson Inn, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Beginning at 1 p.m., a proposed grain food ethanol project for Dawson Creek will be showcased, touching on the project description, capital costs, products and a marketing strategy. Plant financing plans, that include a proposed Peace-based owner co-operative, will also be outlined.
EnerGreen Power Inc. president Bill Vanderland will be present, while Norm Marek of the Illinois State Department of Commerce has been invited. Also on hand will be B.C. Energy and Mines Minister Richard Neufeld and Peace River South MLA Blair Lekstrom.
The conference is sponsored by the Peace River Regional District (PRRD) which has been working with Vanderland since 1992 to bring such a plant to the Peace.
PRRD chair Karen Goodings said that recent events are making renewable resources like ethanol more viable than ever.
“These include reduction of toxic air and water pollution, the Kyoto Agreement and global climate change, energy security and diversification,” she said.
“Farming giant John Deere has announced engine and emissions testing for ethanol diesel blended fuels. Last week, Saskatchewan announced legislation that will mandate the use of ethanol in gasoline.”
Lekstrom who chaired the PRRD’s ethanol committee before he was elected MLA, has been an ardent supporter of an ethanol plant and development of a B.C.-wide ethanol industry. On Tuesday, he brought the issue up in the legislative assembly.
“Not many people know that Henry Ford built the first Model T to run on pure ethanol,” he said. “Production of ethanol creates new permanent jobs in British Columbia, which will benefit all of us in the future as we strive to improve our economy and diversify our industries in our province today.”
He also noted that British Columbia is now the only province west of the Maritimes that does not have a producing ethanol plant.