"You can never say 100 per cent, but it's the next thing to that,'' said Gary Drummond, chairman of Terra Grain Fuels and a former Regina lawyer, in an exclusive interview Tuesday with the Leader-Post.
In the 1990s, Drummond was president and CEO of Direct Energy, a Calgary-based natural gas direct seller.
, which sold natural gas to 1.4 million customers in Canada, was acquired by Centrica
, a U.K. gas utility, for about $900 million in 2000.
, whose family owns farmland south of Regina, said he
began thinking about getting into the ethanol business in February.
"There were two or three of us out there and we got talking about the price of wheat ... and the price of crude oil.
Then we got talking that the pricing dynamics must be very favourable for ethanol.
"From that point on, we got on to a pretty fast track,'' Drummond
former executive vice-president at Direct Energy
, Tim LaFrance, to do due diligence on a proposed ethanol plant.
"I felt we had to assess the business opportunity in the North American context of (ethanol) being an energy commodity,'' Drummond
With ethanol replacing MTBE (methyl tertiary-butyl ether) as an octane enhancer in gasoline in the U.S. and with the federal government's commitment to five-per-cent renewable fuels content in gasoline and diesel in Canada by 2010, the time was right to build an ethanol plant in Saskatchewan, Drummond
I took on the easy part, raising all the money," Drummond
said with a chuckle.
partners -- "family, friends and business associates'' -- will put up the lion's share of the equity.
"It really will provide significant additional demand for wheat in the province,'' Drummond