Shell scrubs plans for Man. straw ethanol plant

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Shell Canada says it will not pursue its plans for a straw-based ethanol plant in southern Manitoba.

Shell’s Calgary-based Canadian arm and Ottawa-based biotech and biofuel firm Iogen Corp. said in a statement Apr. 30 that they will “refocus (the) strategy and activities” of their joint venture, Iogen Energy Corp.

The refocusing, they said, would mean a smaller development program for Iogen Energy and the loss of 150 jobs.

An Iogen spokeswoman said those jobs would be lost in Ottawa, where Iogen operates both its head office and a demonstration-scale cellulosic ethanol facility.

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

Shell spokesman David Williams said that Shell still has the licensing rights to the Iogen technology in question and the two companies’ working relationship would continue.

The companies’ decision, he said, was based strictly on an internal review of Shell’s global portfolio of advanced biofuel projects, not on any availability of federal or provincial support.

“We’re proud of where we’ve got to so far (and) we think this technology is viable,” Williams said.

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Editor, Daily News

Dave Bedard

Editor, Daily News, Glacier FarmMedia Network. A Saskatchewan transplant in Winnipeg.

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