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December 01, 2023
Province investing $1.5 million in 15 projects supporting new and emerging uses of forest biomass
EGANVILLE – The Government of Ontario is creating new opportunities in the forest sector and strengthening regional economies with an initial $1.5 million in funding for projects under the new Forest Biomass Program. These investments will develop the untapped economic potential and environmental benefit of new and emerging uses of underutilized wood and mill by-products, collectively known as forest biomass.
“In just a few months, our Forest Biomass Program has identified many promising forest sector initiatives, with many more projects we plan to support in the months to come,” said Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. “Today’s investment will begin to unleash the potential that biomass has to create good jobs, build strong communities and support healthy forests.”
Each project supports new and emerging uses of forest biomass, the mill by-products from manufacturing, bark, shavings and sawdust, as well as trees or above-ground tree parts unsuited in the production of other forest products. The program’s initial investment of over $1.5 million will leverage funding from industry and other funding programs to advance 15 research, innovation and modernization initiatives. The 15 projects include:
These new projects will increase the use of Ontario’s forest resources while developing new technologies, improving productivity and providing environmental benefits.
First announced in May 2023, the Forest Biomass Program is providing a $19.6 million investment in projects to harvest more Crown wood, create forest sector jobs and regional economic growth and find new uses for wood in collaboration with stakeholders, industry and Indigenous communities.
“Creating and sustaining employment opportunities in the forest sector is something our government is keenly focused on,” said MPP John Yakabuski, Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. “The Forest Biomass Program is another example of our commitment to jobs in the forest sector. These investments will help support workers, operators and our sustainably managed forests.”
Investments through the Forest Biomass Program further the government’s commitments to build a strong forest sector via technological innovation and greater use of forest biomass.
Ontario’s Forest Biomass Action Plan is part of the broader Forest Sector Strategy launched in 2020. The strategy focuses on the province’s plan to create jobs and encourage economic growth in the forestry industry, supporting the Indigenous, northern and rural communities that depend on the sector while ensuring forests are managed sustainably for generations to come.
“Harvest Bioindustrial is at the forefront of producing biofuels from woody biomass residue. Harvest is in partnership with Lavern Heideman and Queen’s University to optimize the yields of biofuels that will displace high carbon fuels such as diesel. We are excited to be participating in the Ontario government’s vision to promote economic growth in the forestry sector by creating advanced bioproducts that will not only have enormous environmental benefits but also create new employment of highly skilled positions.”
– Stan Stasko
Chief Operating Officer, Harvest Bioindustrial Group Inc.
“For half a century, Lavern Heideman & Sons has remained steadfast in our commitment to preserving Ontario’s forests for future generations while providing local economic development opportunities. We are thrilled to partner with Harvest Bioindustrial and Queen’s University to advance bioproduct production in Eastern Ontario. Initiatives like the Forest Sector Strategy and Forest Biomass Action Plan are a testament to the provincial government’s unwavering dedication to fostering a thriving industry that benefits all Ontarians.”
– Kris Heideman
Vice President, Lavern Heideman & Sons Limited
“As an Aboriginal-led company committed to sustainability, Infinite Carbon is immensely grateful for the essential support from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. The funding has been key in laying the necessary groundwork for meaningful ecological change within our forest sector.”
– Daniel Ronald
CEO, Infinite Carbon Corporation
“Maintaining our competitiveness in a challenging market is crucial for Roseburg Forest Products, like most other forest industry companies. With the support of the Ontario government, we were able to get started with one of our critical strategic projects that will help us create more value within our operations.”
– Alexandre Ouellette
Plant Manager, Pembroke MDF & Business Segment Leader, Composites, Roseburg Forest Products
“Ben Hokum and Son is excited to begin this project to complete a business plan and feasibility assessment for a new chipping plant that will use underutilized low-grade wood in Renfrew County as its primary feedstock. The project will lay the groundwork to establish a new chipping and grinding operation to meet the needs of existing bioproduct companies to produce advanced bioproducts. The project will benefit several mills and forest communities in eastern Ontario by strengthening the supply chain of wood residues for companies looking to produce new bioproducts. We are confident in taking our company to a new phase in line with the Ontario Biomass Action Plan and appreciate the assistance of the Government of Ontario in helping us move forward.”
– Dean Felhaber
President, Ben Hokum and Son Limited