First stand-alone renewable diesel refinery to begin production in B.C.


Tidewater Renewables has completed construction on Canada’s first stand-alone renewable diesel refinery. The company says production will begin at the Prince George, B.C., facility “soon.”

British Columbia’s government and Tidewater announced the completion of the project on Friday, June 16, 2023.

The plant is expected to produce more than 3,000 barrels of fuel a day, or approximately 170 million litres a year, once fully operational. The facility will also produce renewable hydrogen.

Renewable diesel is not the same as biodiesel, though both can be made from the same feedstock, such as canola oil. The fuel is chemically almost identical to diesel fuel, and can be used in a one-to-one swap out with diesel, unlike biodiesel.

Using bio-feedstocks, such as canola, tallow and tall oil, the Tidewater facility will produce renewable diesel with 80 to 90 per cent fewer carbon emissions compared to fossil fuel diesel.

The company runs an existing co-processing diesel plant at Prince George. Combined, the two plants have capacity to produce more than 180-million litres of fuel per year.

The $380-million renewable diesel refinery was built with support from government through B.C.’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.

“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,” says 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.”

Related: Renewable diesel: What could it mean for Canadian agriculture?

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