Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, has announced CA$6.45 million of funding for six projects in British Columbia (BC) to promote innovation and diversification in forestry and support collaboration with Indigenous communities. Four of the projects are biomass energy related.
The Minister made the announcement on January 17 during the B.C. Natural Resources Forum in Prince George. The funding delivers on the Investments in Canada’s Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program and the Indigenous Forestry Initiative (IFI) through the Strategic Partnerships Initiative for Indigenous Economic Development.
Technology and innovation have placed our forest sector at the threshold of a new era. 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, said Minister Carr.
The recipients are:
- Pacific Bioenergy Prince George Limited Partnership: CA$3.19 million in funding to implement a Biomass Enhancement System, which will allow for the use of diverse sources of biomass, including underutilized forest residuals, to produce high-quality wood pellets at its Prince George pellet processing facility. It is the first company in North America to design and install a feedstock cleaning system.
- Structurecraft Builders Inc.: CA$1.93 million to implement a Dowel Laminated Timber (DLT) production system at a newly constructed facility, which will house new machinery and associated storing and handling systems. DLT is made by mechanically fixing laminations of dimensional lumber to each other by a series of hardwood dowels eliminating the need for nails or glue and will help spur the rapidly growing demand for green construction.
- The Tsay Keh Dene Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Biomass Energy project: CA$24 000 to assess the feasibility of bioenergy to reduce the reliance of the Tsay Key Dene community on diesel fuel for heat. The community is considering an Organic Rankin Cycle (ORC) biomass plant as its technology of choice, as this technology is able to use a variety of fuels available to the community.
- Gitxsan Development Corporation (GDC): CA$1.165 million to implement a series of scans and activities to lay the foundation for the Gitxsan people to participate in and benefit from major resource projects occurring within, and near, their territory. GDC is also scoping a proposed bioheat demonstration project that would serve a hospital in Haida Gwaii, with local Indigenous partners, BC Hydro and BC Northern Health.
- Kwadacha First Nation: CA$143 000 for two projects; CA$98 000 to support a community biomass combined heat and power (CHP) plant. Heat from the CHP will be used for a district energy system connected to the community school and residences. By using a sustainable supply of local forest biomass, this system will create employment, economic and social benefits, and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. CA$45 000 to undertake a review and prepare a report of their experiences and lessons learned from a successful green-energy initiative in the community that uses local beetle-killed timber to fuel a bioenergy plant for the generation of electricity and heat. This includes finding ways to utilize the piles of residual fine wood waste that is a byproduct of the plant.
About IFIT, IFI and SPI
In 2010, Natural Resources Canada’s Canadian Forest Service created the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program to help Canadian companies develop and grow markets for new and innovative high-value products using Canada’s forest resources.
The Indigenous Forestry Initiative (IFI) is a program that provides funding to support the economic development of Indigenous peoples in Canada. The activities funded promote greater participation by Indigenous communities in all natural resource sectors, especially the forest sector. In June 2017, when the Government of Canada announced CA$867 million in measures through the Softwood Lumber Action Plan, it announced that it would also extend the IFIT program and expand the IFI program with CA$55 million and CA$10 million in funding over three years respectively, starting 2017–2018.
The Strategic Partnerships Initiative (SPI) for Indigenous Economic Development, led by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, supports Indigenous participation in the economy, with a particular focus on the forestry, fisheries, mining, energy and agriculture sectors.