June 29, 2023 [Aero Xplorer]- The Canadian province of Manitoba plans to build a CA$1.9 billion sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) facility near the city of Portage la Prairie. In addition, the provincial government of Manitoba and the Government of Canada plan to spend CA$2.9 million on an engineering study for the new facility.
The funding from the provincial and federal governments will be used for a front-end engineering design study that Azure Sustainable Fuels Corporation (Azure) plans to conduct over the next two years. Azure is one of the largest Canadian companies that is involved in research and development of SAF.
Canada has the potential to establish a SAF industry due to the country’s vast supply of natural resources. The provinces in the Canadian Prairies – Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba – are among the world’s largest producers of various agricultural products.
Manitoba’s Premier Heather Stefanson said at a press conference that the facility will be powered by renewable hydroelectric energy. The materials needed for the SAF, including canola and soybeans, will be sourced directly from local farming communities. She anticipates that the construction of the facility will create 1,500 jobs while the facility itself will create 150 jobs when complete.
Stefanson added: “This furthers our PC team’s commitment to seize the opportunities ahead and create more high quality, high paying jobs for Manitobans. Construction of the facility is projected to have an impact on Manitoba’s economy of [CA$2 billion], which will benefit, of course, all Manitoba and, particularly, those in this community. Manitoba is well positioned for companies like Azure to power the world’s drive to lower carbon emissions and to create net zero energy markets.”
Finally, Stefanson highlighted the provincial government’s desire to “break down any barriers” that may present a hurdle to Azure. The barriers are mostly related to the approval process, which includes conducting an environmental impact assessment of the site before construction begins.
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