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Renewable diesel refinery in Prince George a first in Canada

British Columbia’s clean fuel goals and vision of a low-carbon future have come into sharper focus now that Canada’s first stand-alone renewable diesel refinery has completed construction and will soon begin production in Prince George.

The announcement was made Friday by the province and Tidewater Renewables.

“A low-carbon future means high-quality jobs and clean industry for British Columbians, as this investment by Tidewater in clean diesel refining shows,” said Premier David Eby in Prince George. “By prioritizing reducing carbon pollution, we’re opening B.C. for business and investment, and building healthier communities, while fighting climate change.”

Using bio-feedstocks, such as canola, tallow and tall oil, the Tidewater facility will produce renewable diesel which offers an 80-90 per cent reduction in carbon emissions compared to fossil fuel diesel. The process involves lowering the carbon intensity of transportation fuels by blending them with renewable feedstocks, resulting in a product that reduces carbon emissions from transportation and supports the fight against climate change.

“I want to congratulate Tidewater Renewables for its leadership, innovation and for building the first stand-alone renewable diesel plant, not only in B.C., but all of Canada. This is an incredible achievement,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation. “Producing clean fuels right here in B.C. helps our transportation sector lower its emissions, while creating new jobs and opportunities in the low-carbon economy.”

Tidewater Renewable’s $380-million renewable diesel refinery was built with support from government through the Province’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). Under an LCFS Part 3 agreement, the proponent is awarded credits for undertaking actions that increase the use of low-carbon fuels or reduce the carbon intensity of a low-carbon fuel.

When fully operational in the near future, Tidewater Renewable’s facility is expected to produce more than 3,000 barrels of low-carbon fuel a day, or approximately 170 million litres a year. The facility will also produce renewable hydrogen, which will be used in the production of the low carbon fuel, with the potential to supply excess renewable hydrogen for other uses.

“On behalf of the entire team at Tidewater Renewables, I would like to thank the B.C. government for its leadership in climate action, as well as the timely and unwavering support for our project,” said Krasen Chervenkov, executive vice-president, business development and strategy, Tidewater. “The journey to build Canada’s first renewable diesel and renewable hydrogen complex began in early 2020, and once operational will deliver 170 million litres per year of arctic-spec renewable diesel at 80% to 90% reduction in CO2 as compared to fossil diesel.”

Between Tidewater’s new renewables facility and its existing co-processing diesel plant, the Prince George refinery, the company could produce more than 180 million litres of low-carbon fuel per year. This would mean a 14 per cent contribution to the CleanBC target of producing 1.3 billion litres of renewable fuel in B.C. by 2030. The two facilities will also have a stake in the CleanBC objective of reducing the carbon intensity of fuels in B.C. 30 per cent by 2030.

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