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Biodiesel plant to open in Toronto's port lands

A biodiesel plant planned for the city's port lands district hopes to help feed Canada's growing market for the fuel, and while they're at it, animals and people as well.

Energy Innovation Corp. announced a new facility Tuesday that will use flaxseeds to make biodiesel, which can cleanly power anything from cars, to trucks, to trains.

But company CEO Jon Dwyer says using flaxseeds to make biodiesel, unlike corn or soy, affords other business opportunities as well.

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Forty per cent of every flaxseed can be used to make the fuel, but at the Toronto plant Dwyer will be able to process the other 60 per cent into another valuable commodity: high grade animal feed.

Feed made from flax is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids that have been associated with a host of health benefits. The food products made from animals that eat the feed can in turn advertise their own omega-3 content.

"So we have zero waste," said Mr. Dwyer. "And that's the beauty of what we're doing. Cause we're in both the food and the fuel industry. And we see that as the future of the renewable fuel market; is to create multiple revenue streams."

Feeding people directly is another revenue stream Mr. Dwyer hopes to tap. He said he is experimenting with turning the flax meal into flour that will have all the health benefits of being an omega-3 product, as well as being high in protein and gluten free.

"We want to be in Loblaws," he said. "That is our biggest goal, to make affordable flax available in Loblaws and in Sobeys."

Mr. Dwyer said the Toronto plant will use flaxseeds from all over southern Ontario to make 10 million litres of biodiesel annually.

Federal legislation calls for all diesel fuel and heating-oil to contain 2 per cent biodiesel by 2011, which experts predict will drive Canadian demand as high as 600 million litres annually. Canada currently produces 200 million litres a year.

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Mr. Dwyer plans to open eight plants in cities around Ontario, including Hamilton, Burlington and Windsor.

Being located in cities means being closer to customers; from waste management companies like the Turtle Island Recycling Plant, to bus transit corporations like Metrolinx, to the City of Toronto itself, he said.

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