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Manitoba invests in sustainable aviation fuel project

Azure Sustainable Fuels Corp. receives $2.9 million funding to advance innovative project using feedstocks.

Plain Inflight Cloudy Sky Pixabay Rene Rauschenberger

The Manitoba government has committed $2.9 million over two years through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) to support Azure Sustainable Fuels Corp.'s Front End Engineering Design (FEED) study. This study aims to lay the groundwork for a renewable transportation fuel processing facility, focusing on the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) using Canadian feedstock products like canola and soybean oils.

The announcement was made by federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ron Kostyshyn, highlighting the importance of this initiative in both economic and environmental aspects.

Azure Sustainable Fuels Corp.'s FEED study is a  in the development of a sustainable aviation fuel processing facility that has the potential to produce up to an estimated one billion liters of SAF per year. The primary goal of the project is to provide a made-in-Canada solution to source certified low-carbon fuels, contributing significantly to achieving emissions reduction targets in the aviation industry.

SAF is a liquid fuel already in use in commercial aviation, known for its ability to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80%. Azure Sustainable Fuels Corp. projects that SAF could contribute to as much as 65% of the emissions reduction needed for the aviation industry to reach net-zero by 2050.

The funding provided by the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership will support the engineering, efficiency, and development needs outlined in the FEED study, ensuring a solid foundation before construction begins. This financial backing demonstrates a commitment to fostering innovative solutions in the agricultural sector that not only benefit the environment but also create economic opportunities for local farmers.

The project is particularly noteworthy for its use of Canadian feedstock products, such as canola and soybean oils, showcasing a sustainable approach that leverages Manitoba's rich agricultural resources. The collaboration between Azure Sustainable Fuels Corp. and various stakeholders, including the provincial government, RM of Portage la Prairie, Indigenous groups, and local stakeholders, underscores a collective effort to adhere to and respect all environmental regulations and requirements.

In expressing his support, Minister Lawrence MacAulay stated, "I’m pleased to be supporting Azure with funding through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Their innovative research into converting feedstock to sustainable fuel will create new economic opportunities for our farmers while helping reduce emissions."

Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ron Kostyshyn emphasized the role of the agriculture sector in advancing sustainable decarbonization solutions. He sees the project as an opportunity to enhance Manitoba's reputation for world-class sustainable farming practices while benefiting farmers and oilseed processors.

Azure Sustainable Fuels Corp.'s CEO, Douglas Cole, expressed gratitude for the funding, noting that it brings them one step closer to realizing a made-in-Canada solution that utilizes Manitoba's agriculture industry and adds value to local crops.

This investment aligns with the broader goals of the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year, $3.5-billion initiative by Canada's federal, provincial, and territorial governments. The program aims to support the agri-food and agri-products sectors, with a significant portion dedicated to cost-sharing projects designed and delivered by provinces and territories. The Azure Sustainable Fuels Corp. project stands as a shining example of how collaborative efforts can drive innovation, create economic opportunities, and contribute to a more sustainable and resilient future.

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