Federated Cooperatives Ltd. said a new renewable diesel fuel and a canola crushing plant will be part of their plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The oil production company announced Monday that the estimated $2 billion integrated farming complex will be built in north Regina near the company’s Co-op refinery and in partnership with global pulse processor and supplier AGT Foods.
Federated Co-operatives CEO Scott Banda said his company is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
“There are regulatory requirements for that, and it’s the right thing for our economy and for humanity in the long term,” Banda said.
2,500 construction jobs, 150 permanent jobs forecast
Once built, the diesel plant will have a production capacity of 15,000 barrels a day, i.e. around one billion liters a year. The rapeseed plant is to produce 450,000 tons of oil.
The Saskatchewan government says the diesel plant portion is expected to create more than 2,500 construction jobs and 150 permanent operations jobs. It should be finished by 2027.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe described the project as one of the largest investments in the province.
“This is a huge win for Saskatchewan’s economy, a win for workers, a win for families… and a significant win for the environment,” Moe said Monday.
“We’re getting cleaner and we’re getting greener.”
Rapeseed oil will serve as raw material for the diesel production plant
AGT Foods CEO Murad Al-Katib said canola fields could provide a source for production and renewable fuels.
“They are self-renewable and contribute positively to both climate change and carbon-related initiatives, while combined with nitrogen-fixing crops such as legumes.”
As part of the Paris Agreement, Canada has committed to reducing its emissions by 40 to 45 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.
Canada’s Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act went into effect last June, enshrining the country’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. That would mean that the economy would not emit greenhouse gas emissions, or offset its emissions through measures such as planting trees or using technologies that can capture carbon before it is released into the air.
Federated Cooperatives, which operates other facilities such as gas stations, has already begun to transition to cleaner production and is also exploring carbon capture technologies, Banda said.
Switch to a project spurred by the low-carbon economy, says CEO
“For every renewable pioneer you build, we have to produce one less fossil fuel. We’re seeing that drop and we’re seeing that drop in our refinery. We haven’t been running at full capacity there for a while and we need to reconcile.”
It’s unclear how much the company’s greenhouse gases will fall with the new plant, but Banda said it will be a “huge, huge piece of the puzzle” in reducing emissions.
“It can be a full replacement for fossil-fuel diesel, which is meaningful and critical to our commitment to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and the transition to a low-carbon economy.”