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Two Down; Two To Go - The Southern Alberta Alternative Energy Partnership Moves Forward With Planned Research

October 9, 2007

Lethbridge - The Southern Alberta Alternative Energy Partnership (SAAEP), in collaboration with BFuel Canada, is holding a news conference today to report on their progress to date. Two research projects have already been completed and another two are currently underway.

These projects are designed to set the foundation for an aggressive strategy to promote the southern Alberta region as a leader in alternative energy production and manufacturing. Funding support has been received from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada under the Biofuels Opportunities for Producers Initiative (BOPI) program, industry sponsor BFuel Canada and local area producers. The total amount of funds leveraged for the projects is more than $400,000.

The first completed project, The Green Growth Plan (GGP), entailed ten community meetings, one industry meeting and several industry and government interviews which were executed this past spring. These consultations allowed the SAAEP to gauge interest in the alternative energy sector and help establish priorities and recommendations for industry and municipalities. John Kolk, chair of the SAAEP Advisory Committee which initiated the public consultation, says, “This process demonstrated the forward-thinking approach of the SAAEP, allowed us to get ahead of the curve and to establish a public voice around alternative energy development in our part of the province.” The final report can be accessed at www.saaep.ca/SAAEPFinalReport.pdf

Another report, completed in July 2007, is the Biodiesel Feasibility Study which explores the commercial viability of processing biodiesel in Southern Alberta. It includes information on potential technologies, financial scenarios and a thorough market analysis.

“The completion of the study proves that biodiesel production will be a long-term and viable new industry for southern Alberta,” says Glenn Collick, president of BFuel Canada Corp, whose plans to establish a biodiesel processing facility in Chin, Alberta should come to fruition in 2009. “Financial forecasts indicate a very strong return for investors and the producers who will partner with us. We look forward to working with our neighbours in Chin as well as interested agricultural producers, our local advisory board, the County of Lethbridge, the province and the SAAEP to ensure this development will benefit the region.”

Two additional studies are now underway. The first explores the potential cluster development opportunities associated with biofuels production and the other looks at the potential costs and benefits associated with using waste-to-energy systems for disposal of waste, which ranges from landfills to intense livestock operations. Final reports on these topics are expected to be available to the public in early 2008 and should be of particular interest to SAAEP member municipalities, area producers and local economic development offices.

“We believe we can build on the results of these studies to identify real investment opportunities and ensure that the growth of this new industry is balanced with public feedback and in harmony with our current economic and environmental landscape,” says Roelof Heinen, chair of the SouthGrow Regional Initiative – one of the three economic organizations behind the SAAEP (see backgrounder). The SAAEP plans to create a Green Growth Action Plan to respond to the information collected through these significant reports.

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For more information, contact:

CEO Cheryl Dick – Economic Development Lethbridge – 403.331.0022
Linda Erickson – Director, SouthGrow Regional Initiative – 403.381.5414
Bev Thornton – Director, Alberta SouthWest Regional Alliance – 403.627.1165
Brenda Hunik – Regional Director, BFuel Canada Corp. 403.394.3835

Backgrounder:

The objective of the Southern Alberta Alternative Energy Partnership is to facilitate the development of alternative energy systems and attract corresponding businesses.

The three sponsor organizations - Alberta SouthWest Regional Alliance, Economic Development Lethbridge and SouthGrow Regional Initiative - have agreed to work collaboratively to achieve a common goal:

To become a leader in alternative energy production and manufacturing

Together, this group represents 37 municipalities in the southwest and south-central region of the province. More information on the SAAEP can be found at www.saaep.ca.

BFuel Canada Corp. is a Vancouver, BC-based company and has been created to represent the new direction in energy supply, conservation and emission reductions which Canada and the world has embraced in a bid to curb increased use of fossil fuels. BFuel’s mandate is to establish an oil seed crusher and biodiesel refinery in southwest Alberta. To that end, they have purchased land at Chin, Alberta and engaged the local businesses and community to support the design and construction of the plant. They hope to be operational by early to mid-2009.

A copy of the full feasibility study and more information re the Chin Lakes Biodiesel development can be found on BFuel Canada Corp. website at www.bfuelcanada.com.

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