Canadian Manufacturing

Shell, Iogen scrap plans for Manitoba ethanol plant

Results in 150 lost jobs.



CALGARY, Alta.—Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Iogen Corp. said Monday they are ditching plans to build a biofuel plant in southern Manitoba, leading to the loss of 150 jobs.

The companies did not say in a release why they’re abandoning the plant other than that it’s part of a effort to “refocus” their plans.

“Shell continues to explore multiple pathways to find a commercial solution for the production of advanced biofuels on an industrial scale,” it said.

“But the company will not pursue the project it has had under development to build a larger scale cellulosic ethanol facility in southern Manitoba.”

Privately-held Iogen says it will continue to employ 110 people at its headquarters in Ottawa and will expand its offerings with new biofuel technologies.

Iogen and Shell formed their joint venture in 2002. Iogen been producing ethanol from wheat straw at its Ottawa demonstration plant since 2004.

Cellulosic ethanol is made from non-edible plant parts, like straw. Conventional ethanol, by contrast, is made from the parts of crops that can be eaten and has been cited as one culprit behind rising food prices in recent years.

Since December 2010, Ottawa has required gasoline across Canada to contain an average of five per cent renewable content.

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