Imperial to invest $720 million in building Canada’s largest renewable diesel plant

The Imperial refinery at Strathcona, near Edmonton, AB (source: Business Wire)

Imperial says it plans to spend around $720 million on building the largest renewable diesel facility in Canada at its Strathcona refinery near Edmonton, Alta.

The plant is expected to produce more than one billion litres of renewable diesel annually from locally sourced feedstocks, including canola oil, the company said on Thursday, noting this fuel could reduce emissions in the Canadian transportation sector by three million metric tonnes per year based on Canada’s Clean Fuel Regulation.

The chemistry of renewable diesel is nearly identical to petroleum-derived diesel, meaning it does not have to be blended like traditional biodiesel, and can be used as a complete replacement in diesel engines.

First announced in August 2021, Imperial says site preparation and initial construction has already started on the renewable diesel facility, with complete regulatory approvals expected shortly, and production scheduled to begin in 2025.

A significant portion of the fuel coming from the plant will be supplied to British Columbia, as the B.C. government supported the project in coordination with its provincial low carbon fuel standard.

Imperial says it’s in the process of developing agreements with third parties for feedstock supplies.

Rising demand for canola oil to produce renewable diesel is driving a major expansion in canola crush capacity in Western Canada, with more than 6 million tonnes of new crush capacity — a 50 per cent increase — having been announced over the past two years.


Plans for 6 million tonnes of new canola crush on their way to becoming reality

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EPA publishes final rule approving canola oil for advanced biofuels in the U.S.

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