British Columbia celebrates Canada’s 1st renewable diesel refinery
British Columbia’s clean-fuel goals and vision of a low-carbon future have come into sharper focus now that Canada’s first standalone renewable diesel refinery has completed construction and will soon begin production.
The announcement was made June 16 by the province and Tidewater Renewables.
“A low-carbon future means high-quality jobs and clean industry for British Columbians, as this investment by Tidewater in clean diesel refining shows,” said Premier David Eby. “By prioritizing reducing carbon pollution, we’re opening British Columbia for business and investment, and building healthier communities, while fighting climate change.”
Using biobased feedstocks such as canola, tallow and tall oil, the Tidewater facility will produce renewable diesel, which offers an 80 percent to 90 percent reduction in carbon emissions compared to fossil diesel fuel.
The process involves lowering the carbon intensity of transportation fuels by blending them with renewable feedstocks, resulting in a product that reduces carbon emissions from transportation and supports the fight against climate change.
“I want to congratulate Tidewater Renewables for its leadership, innovation and for building the first standalone renewable diesel plant, not only in British Columbia, but all of Canada,” said Josie Osborne, minister of energy, mines, and low-carbon innovation. “This is an incredible achievement. Producing clean fuels right here in BC helps our transportation sector lower its emissions, while creating new jobs and opportunities in the low-carbon economy.”
Tidewater Renewables’ CAD$380 million (USD$288 million) renewable diesel refinery was built with support from government through the province’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard.
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.
When fully operational in the near future, Tidewater Renewable’s facility is expected to produce approximately 45 million gallons a year (mgy).
The facility will also produce renewable hydrogen, which will be used in the production of the low-carbon fuel, with the potential to supply excess renewable hydrogen for other uses.
“On behalf of the entire team at Tidewater Renewables, I would like to thank the BC government for its leadership in climate action, as well as the timely and unwavering support for our project,” said Krasen Chervenkov, executive vice president of business development and strategy for Tidewater Renewables. “The journey to build Canada’s first renewable diesel and renewable hydrogen complex began in early 2020, and once operational will deliver 170 million liters per year of arctic-spec renewable diesel at 80 percent to 90 percent reduction in CO2 as compared to fossil diesel.”
Between Tidewater’s new renewables facility and its existing coprocessing diesel plant, the Prince George refinery, the company could produce more than 47.5 mgy of low-carbon fuel per year.
This would mean a 14 percent contribution to the CleanBC target of producing 1.3 billion liters (343.3 million gallons) of renewable fuel in BC by 2030.
The two facilities will also have a stake in the CleanBC objective of reducing the carbon intensity of fuels in BC 30 percent by 2030.