The biodiesel targeted measures, BTM, program under Natural Resources Canada, NRCan, selected the fuels and lubricants group at the Alberta Research Council, ARC, to assist them in providing technical support in developing a biodiesel industry in Canada. The ARC was chosen based on its qualifications and recommendations provided by a steering committee consisting of representatives from Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada and the Canadian General Standards Board.
The objective of the biodiesel work conducted at the ARC, supported by NRCan, was to establish a centre of excellence for biodiesel testing whereby two major program components would include a biofuels quality registry and an international quality assurance exchange program. The overall goal was to promote increased biodiesel use by conducting fuel quality testing of biodiesel samples establishing an accessible database tracking fuel quality metrics for biodiesel fuels and to develop an industry protocol and standard for fuel analysis.
The biofuels quality registry was established to be a national online database and website with analysis results of candidate biofuels being entered into the registry. The information collected is used by Natural Resources Canada and Environment Canada to support research and policy activities. Fuels used in demonstration programs, fuels that are commercially available, and in some cases, fuels from process development are eligible for inclusion in the registry. As part of this program, the Government of Canada reserves the right to use this data to compile an annual trends report that will be available on this website. It is important to stress that only certain fuels will be accepted for analysis under the registry. A biofuels technical steering committee, BTSC, consisting of representatives from NRCan and Environment Canada approves all applications for incentives. As part of the biofuels quality registry, an incentive program was established to encourage biodiesel fuel quality testing. The results of the testing will facilitate in the generation of a national database.
Under this program, analytical services are partially subsidized by the biofuels quality registry based on a sliding scale: 70%, first application; 50%, second application; and 30%, subsequent applications.
This quality registry program was only intended to operate for two years ending March 31, 2007. The rates provided for the testing of samples were in accordance with standard industry practices.
The international quality assurance exchange program, IQAEP, is an interlaboratory proficiency testing program. It consists of a series of petroleum related tests, frequent exchanges of a wide range of products, and rapid report turnaround times. It enables customers to monitor their laboratory equipement, test methodology, personnel, and reporting procedures to ensure they are in compliance with international quality standards.
Proficiency testing through an interlaboratory exchange program is an invaluable tool to allow organizations to eveluate their performance in physical testing of petroleum products.
The fuels and lubricants group at ARC was chosen to manange this program because it has coordinated petroleum exchanges for more than 30 years and has no vested interest in the results. Through the administration of the proficiency testing program, we are working to ensure that there are more qualified laboratories with biodiesel testing capabilities.
To summarize the response, in response to (a), yes, the government provides financial incentives for testing of biofuels. These incentives are provided for sample submissions and are based on a sliding scale of 70% first application, 50%, second application, and 30% subsequent applications.
In response to (b), no, these incentives are only provided to the programs delivered under the Alberta Research Council.
In response to (c), the government selected the ARC to carry out fuel quality testing because of its qualifications and the recommendations provided to it by a steering committee consisting of representatives from Environment Canada. NRCan and the Canadian General Standards Board.
In response to (d), the rates provided by the ARC are in accordance with standard industry practices.