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ARCHIVED - Federal Renewable Fuels Regulation - Overview of Approach

Meeting of Industrial Technical Advisory Group

May 22, 2009

This presentation is also available in PDF (165 Kb)

In keeping with the Government's policy on harmonization, the approach is similar to that of the U.S.

  • The 2006 Notice of Intent set out that we would look closely at the Renewable Fuel Standard developed by the U.S. EPA
  • The approach generally harmonizes with that of the U.S. rule
    • The renewable fuel requirement applies to the volume of petroleum fuel produced and imported
    • Tradeable compliance units are the basis for complying with the regulations
      • Each compliance unit represents one litre of renewable fuel

The approach avoids some complications of the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard

  • The key simplification is that producers and importers of renewable fuel are not involved in creating compliance units
    • This avoids the need for complex provisions regarding "RINs"
      • Creation of 38-digit RINs, assignment to batches of renewable fuel, separation upon blending, etc
      • EPA indicates that the RIN approach has been problematic
    • The change means record-keeping provisions can be used instead of RINs to substantiate compliance units

The Canadian approach relies heavily upon recordkeeping and reporting requirements to establish compliance

The 2% distillate requirement will be implemented through a future amendment to the Regulation

  • This is to be implemented by 2011 or earlier, subject to technical feasibility
    • Questions remain from industry and end-users relating to cold weather operation, long-term storage, impacts on engines and equipment, distribution infrastructure
    • Work has commenced to address the issues
      • NRCan has launched a demonstration initiative building on the Alberta Renewable Diesel Demonstration
  • The working document for consultation is an integrated package with a "place holder" for the distillate requirement
    • It sets out the full approach

General Approach:

  • The regulation will require renewable fuel volumes of at least:
    • 5% of a primary supplier's gasoline pool (its annual production/importation of gasoline - both finished fuel and sub-octane blendstock)
    • 2% of a primary supplier's distillate pool (its annual production / importation of diesel fuel and heating oil)
  • Compliance is based on ownership of compliance units at the end of the year
    • 1 distillate compliance unit = 1 litre of renewable fuel in diesel or heating oil
    • 1 gasoline compliance unit = 1 litre of renewable fuel in gasoline or other fuels
    • Compliance units may be transferred between primary suppliers

A primary supplier's gasoline pool is its total production plus imports

This figure visually shows that a primary supplier's gasoline pool consists of finished gasoline and unfinished gasoline (sub-octane), both of which could be produced at the primary supplier's refineries, or imported by the primary supplier. The pool is defined at a primary supplier's refinery gate and import points. The renewable fuel content requirement will apply on a company basis, not a facility basis.

The pool is defined at a primary supplier's refinery gate and import points

Limits apply on a company (not facility) basis

A primary may create or acquire compliance units

This figure visually shows that a primary supplier may either create compliance units or acquire compliance units from others. One compliance unit represents one litre of renewable fuel (RF) and may be created at any facility when RF is blended into fuel, at a refinery when bio-crude is used as feedstock, or when a fuel containing RF is imported. Compliance units which are not used in a compliance period may be re-created for use in the following period.
Click to enlarge

Persons other than primary suppliers may also create compliance units

  • Through the same type of actions:
    • Blending renewable fuel with petroleum fuel
    • Importing blended fuel other than gasoline, diesel fuel or heating oil
      • (note that importers of gasoline / distillate are primary suppliers)
    • Producing fuel other than gasoline, diesel fuel or heating oil using bio-crude feedstock
      • (note that persons producing gasoline / distillate from bio-crude are primary suppliers)

Persons creating compliance units must notify the Minister that they elect to participate in the trading system and provide registration information

Compliance units may be exchanged

Primary supplierNon-PS trading system participantAnother party
TransferorPrimary supplierYesNoNo
Non-PS trading system participantYesNoNo
Another partyNoNoNo

The restrictions on trading are intended to ensure that compliance units reach obligated parties

Records and reports are key to enforcement

  • Enforcement rests solely upon records and reports
  • Requirements apply to primary suppliers, trading system participants, and producers and importers of renewable fuel
  • Information is required on:
    • Fuel type
    • Volume produced / imported / exported
    • Renewable fuel content
    • Renewable fuel volume produced, imported, acquired, sold, blended
    • Compliance units created, transferred, received
    • Year-to-date balance of compliance units
  • A third part audit of records and reports is required annually

Other provisions include:

  • Method for measuring volumes
  • Election to participate in trading system
  • Ownership and cancellation of compliance units
  • One-time registration report for regulatees
  • Third-party audits
  • Retention of records

Summary of key requirements

RequirementPrimary supplier (producer or importer)Non-PS trading system participant (e.g., blender)Seller for exportProducer or importer of renewable fuel
Renewable fuel in gasoline, diesel fuel, and heating distillate oilYesNoNoNo
Election into the trading systemAutomaticOptionalNoNo
One-time registrationYesYesNoYes
Annual reportsYesYesYesYes
Compliance unit account bookYesYesNoNo
Other recordsYesYesYesYes
Third-party auditsYesYesNoYes


Sections of the working document for consultation

Questions and Comments?

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