Imperial Oil Approves Renewable Diesel Plant

Cody Good
Biodiesel truck
Courtesy of imgflip.com

Locally sourced and environmentally conscious – two things one would not associate with diesel vehicles. And yet, large, lifted diesel truck drivers of Western Canada, in all their coal-rolling infamy, are on the road to a greener future.

What happened: Yesterday, Imperial Oil announced its investment of $720 million to build Canada’s largest renewable diesel facility near Edmonton. Preliminary construction has already begun, and production is expected to start in 2025.

The details: Fueled by a locally-sourced diet of Alberta’s finest canola and soybeans, the facility will produce more than one billion litres of renewable diesel per year, enough to fuel roughly 5.5 million Ford F-350s.

  • Imperial has secured low-carbon hydrogen for the facility from its partners Air Products and Chemicals Inc., who are building a $1.6 billion blue hydrogen production facility nearby.

All told, the facility is expected to reduce emissions by 3 million tonnes per year, in line with the federal Clean Fuels Regulations.

Why it’s important: In the race to reduce carbon emissions from transport, biofuels, including renewable diesel, offer a real and practical solution that can be implemented quickly. While not as sleek as a new Tesla, growing the inputs for renewable fuels is often easier than its energy transition counterparts.

A farmer’s field faces virtually no obstacles compared to the critical minerals needed for electrification, often sourced from conflict zones or areas where approval is difficult due to environmental group opposition and NIMBYism.

Bottom line: Diesel fuel has been made green, now it’s time to make all those truck nuts biodegradable.