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February 20-22, 200
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

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Posted on  

July 3, 2002

Manitoba premier announces plan to consult on ethanol production expansion

WINNIPEG (CP) -- Manitoba plans to expand its production of ethanol after holding public consultations across the province, the premier announced Tuesday.

Premier Gary Doer said a three-member panel will travel to communities to discuss the ethanol plan, which would see all gasoline sold in Manitoba blended with ethanol to create a product called gasohol.

"We are asking Manitobans to share their views on how we can get the greatest benefit from this opportunity," Doer said in a news release.

"Expanding the production and use of ethanol will create jobs and economic stability, particularly in our rural communities, and contribute towards a cleaner environment for future generations."

A schedule for the public meetings has yet to be set.

The Manitoba government estimates there is a market for 140 million litres of ethanol or 1.4 billion litres of gasohol per year.

However, Doer said there is a lack of infrastructure for ethanol blending facilities and it will be difficult to develop markets for ethanol.

But, he added, the benefits also mean it's worth pursuing.

"There are challenges associated with any undertaking of this magnitude, but in light of the potential benefits, the ethanol industry is worth pursuing," he said.

Saskatchewan's NDP government is also promoting expansion of an ethanol industry in that province. The government there introduced legislation in March that will mandate ethanol-blended gasoline and provide tax breaks for the industry.

Ethanol is a high-octane, biodegradable alcohol produced from renewable resources such as grain and wood. It is usually blended with gasoline in a 10 per cent mix to reduce carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide emissions.

Ethanol production plants also produce a grain byproduct that can be fed to cattle.


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