Ontario Government Invests Over $9.4 Million in Forest Biomass Projects to Boost Economy and Environment

Nakina Forest Products
Nakina Forest Products

The Government of Ontario is making a significant investment of over $9.4 million in 14 innovative projects aimed at harnessing the economic and environmental potential of forest biomass. Forest biomass, encompassing a variety of underutilized wood and mill by-products, is a versatile resource used in products ranging from food additives to building materials. Its emerging applications in renewable natural gas, bioplastics, and hydrogen offer sustainable alternatives to carbon-heavy products.

This funding is part of the larger $19.6 million Forest Biomass Program, which focuses on increasing wood harvesting from Crown forests, boosting job creation in the forest sector, and exploring new wood applications in collaboration with stakeholders, the industry, and Indigenous communities.

Projects Benefiting from the Modernization Funding Stream:

  • Thunder Bay Pulp and Paper Mill, Thunder Bay: Receiving $5,000,000, this project will modernize the mill’s electrical system. The upgrade is a step towards enhancing green energy production, reducing emissions, and increasing forest biomass utilization.
  • Biopower Sustainable Energy Corp., Atikokan: Awarded $997,500, the project will boost production and efficiency, and expand forest biomass use through new equipment and wood handling facility modernization.

Innovative Bioproduct Manufacturing Funding Stream Initiatives:

  • Whitesand First Nation, Thunder Bay: With $1,289,573, the project focuses on preparing a site for a wood pellet plant in Whitesand’s Bioeconomy Centre, promoting forest biomass for heat and power generation.
  • FPInnovations, Thunder Bay: Receiving $250,000, this initiative aims to integrate the forest sector by identifying business opportunities for a new wood biorefinery.
  • Rutter Urban Forestry, Thunder Bay: Supported with $245,000, the project involves acquiring a mobile forest biomass chipper and tractor for renewable energy production and efficient heat generation.

Indigenous Bioeconomy Partnerships Investments:

  • Cat Lake First Nation, Sioux Lookout: Awarded $250,000, the project focuses on assessing forest biomass supply and identifying utilization opportunities to guide regional development.
  • Jason Mattson 2538745 Ontario Ltd., Atikokan: Receiving $250,000, this initiative will strengthen the forest sector supply chain by purchasing a new biomass haul truck and trailer.
  • True North Trucking, Thunder Bay: With $250,000, this project aims to enhance forest sector business certainty with a new truck and trailer for biomass delivery.
  • Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek First Nation, Nipigon: Supported with $250,000, the project focuses on using harvested wood and mill residuals for cost-efficient community heating.
  • Lac Seul First Nation, Sioux Lookout: Receiving $237,280, this initiative will explore building bioheat plants to heat schools and a community health center.
  • Lake Nipigon Forest Management Inc., Nipigon: Awarded $200,000, the project supports the development of a renewable natural gas and biocarbon facility.

Exploring Biomass Pathways Investments:

  • FPInnovations, Thunder Bay: With $100,000, this project seeks to reduce operating costs and improve the carbon footprint in lignin production.
  • Greenmantle Forest Inc., Thunder Bay: Supported with $62,500, the initiative will develop a green hydrogen facility using forest biomass.
  • Lakehead University, Thunder Bay: Receiving $32,000, this research focuses on developing alternative construction materials using forest biomass ash.

These investments represent a strategic move by the Ontario Government to not only stimulate economic growth and job creation but also to promote environmental sustainability. The focus on forest biomass aligns with global trends in renewable energy and sustainable materials, positioning Ontario as a leader in green innovation. For further details on the Forest Biomass Program, interested parties can visit the official program page at ontario.ca/page/forest-biomass-program.

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