Fuel company loves Kamloops
Sydney Chisholm - Sep 30, 2022 - Biz Releases

A sustainable fuel company is looking to open a plant on the Tk’emlups reserve that will turn canola oil and animal fats into jet fuel.

Douglas Cole, president of Azure Sustainable Fuels Corp., told Castanet Kamloops the location, next to the CN Rail yard along the North Thompson River, north of the Halston Bridge, has everything the company was looking for.

“Logistics play a very key part in in this type of a project. We need to rail in canola oil and rail out aviation fuel to its destination,” Cole said. “So the siding here with CN was particularly attractive. That’s what initially brought us here to Kamloops.”

Cole said his company has been in lengthy conversations with the band and it seems likely that construction will begin next year.

Azure, a Calgary-based company with Swiss backing that was incorporated last year, hopes to start operations at the new plant in late 2026 or early in 2027.

Cole said in addition to sustainable aviation fuel, the plant would also make renewable diesel. He said if the project is successful, Azure will be the first sustainable diesel plant in the province.

He said Kamloops’ central location in B.C. and the easy access to rail makes the area a perfect sustainable fuel hub.

“Currently, B.C. imports all of their renewable diesel fuel from from outside of Canada,” he said.

Cole said Azure is hoping to break ground on the project in a little over a year, depending on regulatory timelines.

The company said construction of the plant could mean as many as 1,500 jobs over two years. Once operating, Cole said the facility would employ approximately 150 workers.

The process of turning canola oil into fuel might produce a familiar odour, Cole said.

“Canola oil as it’s being treated, or pre-treated for this process, sort of smells like cooking french fries, perhaps. That’s probably the best description I’ve heard for it,” Cole said.

According to the company, preliminary engineering and design studies for the new plant have already been completed, and now the company is working with the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc band, CN Rail and other stakeholders to finalize a site for the facility.

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