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March 18, 2005
For immediate release

Premier, Energy Minister Participate in Bio-Fuels Tour

Premier's Office

Premier Pat Binns and Energy Minister Jamie Ballem are travelling to Europe to visit a number of facilities that produce bio-fuels. Bio-energy has been identified as an important priority for the province. PEI’s renewable energy strategy, released in June, calls for further investigation of the viability of an ethanol and bio-diesel industry in PEI.

“By virtue of its small size and it’s large population, Europe has had to seriously investigate alternative energy sources,” said Premier Binns. “We have a great deal to learn from what they’ve already accomplished, and the scale of some of these projects could make them ideal for adaptation on Prince Edward Island.”

The Premier and Minister Ballem will visit facilities in Holland, Germany and Austria. Among other things, they will tour a bio-ethanol plant, a bio-gas facility, a bio-diesel plant and a solar powered school.

“We are very interested to see not only the facilities themselves but also to study the business case for building them and operating them,” said Premier Binns. “There is great potential for PEI to fill some of its own energy requirements with alternative fuels – but there is also potential for entrepreneurs who would like to invest in this increasingly important business.”

Renewable energy has been identified by the provincial government as a priority sector for business development. People who develop renewable energy

businesses are eligible for a number of tax rebates under the new Progressive Tax Rebate Program.

Media Contact: Patrick Dorsey
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