Canadian cellulosic ethanol developer Iogen Corporation and its joint venture partner Royal Dutch Shell have committed further funding to keep the venture going for two more years. Iogen Energy is currently running a demonstration plant near Ottawa that is producing ethanol from wheat straw. The demonstration plant has produced over 170,000 gallons of ethanol over the past year. This ethanol is blended with gasoline and is commercially available at Shell stations in and around Ottawa.
The recent drop in oil prices, in combination with the failing economy, is taking a toll in the development of Canadian oil sands. Because of low labor productivity and increasing costs, the Canadian-based industry is finding it increasingly difficult to compete in the global marketplace. Poor environmental practices and an "uncertain regulatory picture" are, according to a recent report by consultants McKinsey & Co., also contributing factors to a slew of development slowdowns and "postpone