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Ottawa Funds Forest Bioenergy Projects in Ontario and B.C.

Canada has announced a $5.8-million bioeconomy investment in Ontario, along with $168,000 for two bioenergy projects led by First Nations in British Columbia.

In a January 22 release, the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor) said the larger of the two grants will help build a bioeconomy research cluster in Thunder Bay and “lead to renewable, biodegradable, and cost-effective alternatives to petroleum-based products.”

The Pointe Claire, Quebec-based FPInnovations research institute receives $3 million to build a thermo-mechanical-pulp biorefinery demonstration plant at the Resolute Forest Products mill in Thunder Bay, and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) will spend another $2.8 million on operations and research. The project will advance “a promising technology which takes advantage of the growing demand for green biochemicals and biofuels provided by sustainably-sourced Canadian wood,” the release states.

“This project highlights the importance of investing in derisking new technologies and products, and points the way for developing and delivering a transformative technology that contributes to the Canadian bioeconomy,” said FP Innovations CEO Stéphane Renou.

In B.C., meanwhile, the Kwadacha First Nation receives $143,000 from NRCan to develop and report on a community-based combined heat and power (CHP) bioenergy project, while the Tsay Keh Dene First Nation gets $25,000 for a CHP feasibility study, Renewable Energy World reports.

“Technology and innovation have placed our forest sector at the threshold of a new era,” said Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr. “Adopting new ways of using renewable forest materials will help ensure that Canada’s forest sector continues to play a key role in our economy and contributes to efforts to address climate change.”