BioEconomy Week Coming to Thunder Bay and Atikokan

Forestry Licences can be granted by Ontario - Supreme Court rules
Forestry is changing in Northern Ontario

Converting dead plant matter to bio-fuel could change the game for forestry.
Converting dead plant matter to bio-fuel could change the game for forestry.

THUNDER BAY – The growing importance of bio-energy, and its potential for bio-mass have the Canadian Bioenergy Association (CanBio), the Forest Products Association of Canada, Lakehead University, Confederation College and the Biomass Innovation Centre of Nipissing University working together for Bioeconomy week.

The groups are partnering to offer a full-slate of events from September 8th to 13th in both Thunder Bay and Atikokan.

Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs and Atikokan Mayor Dennis Brown have jointly endorsed Bioeconomy Week Declaration.

“As Mayor of Thunder Bay, I am honoured to proclaim September 8 – 13 as the first Canadian Bioenergy Association Bioeconomy Week in Thunder Bay and Atikokan. The program for the week is exciting and very important for the continued economic development of our communities. It builds on a bio-economy base established by such organizations as Ontario Power Generation, Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission, Centre for Research and Innovation in the BioEconomy, Lakehead University, Confederation College, and forest product companies including Resolute and Rentech. I look forward to the week and continuing to build a bio-economy cluster in our region,” stated Mayor Hobbs.

The highlight of the week will be the the CanBio Annual Conference from September 9th to 11th. There will be sessions on Tomorrow’s Biorefineries, Biomass Power, Getting Projects Off-the-ground, Ontario Bioheat, Biomass Supply, Next Gen Biofuels and Advanced Materials and Biochemicals.

Featured business leaders will include Ken Shields, CEO of Conifex Timber in B.C.; Joseph Binder, Managing Director of Binder Austria; W. Scott Thurlow, President of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association and Brent Boyko, Director of Biomass Business Development, Ontario Power Generation (OPG). Government leaders include The Hon. Greg Rickford, federal Minister of Natural Resources; The Hon. Bob Chiarelli, Ontario Minister of Energy; Rory Gilsenan, Director, Policy Economics and Industry at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), and Bill Thornton, ADM, Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.

Other events during the week will include training sessions on the bioeconomy for professionals, a trade show, a Biopathways meeting, tours of bioenergy facilities in Thunder Bay and Atikokan, an Awards Dinner, demonstration of a remote sensing drone and community seminars.

“Starting with the establishment of the Atikokan Biomass Research Centre in 2008, our community has been keenly engaged in the coal to biomass conversion of the Ontario Power Generation Atikokan Generating Station. We are very proud to have OPG in Atikokan operating the largest capacity 100 percent biomass fueled power plant in North America and are very thankful to them and the provincial government for constructing this world class biomass facility in our town! The new Rentech pellet plant, and Resolute sawmill are further contributing to the bioeconomic boom in our region. I am looking forward to hosting delegates in Atikokan during Bioeconomy week and future visitors to our bioeconomy cluster,” commented Mayor Brown.