BC Bioenergy Network

BC Bioenergy Network
Initiatives Prince George

Initiatives Prince George

October 30, 2009 15:40 ET

BC Bioenergy Network to Support Development of Northern Bioenergy Partnership

PRINCE GEORGE, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 30, 2009) - The BC Bioenergy Network, a provincially-funded leader supporting the growing bioenergy sector in British Columbia, announces funding of $52,500 to Initiatives Prince George to support the work of the Northern Bioenergy Partnership. The Partnership is an industry-led collaboration with government, communities and the University of Northern B.C. to establish Northern British Columbia as a leader in the bioenergy industry. Objectives of the Partnership include attracting further investment of capital in the bioenergy sector to serve growing demand for green energy globally and establishing an industry led research initiative at UNBC.

"This partnership further establishes Prince George as a bioenergy leader in British Columba," said Blair Lekstrom, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. "Bioenergy will create jobs, diversify the economy and help British Columbia realize its potential as a clean energy powerhouse."

The Northern Bioenergy Partnership hosted a one-day Northern Bioenergy Forum on May 5, 2009 at UNBC attended by over 80 participants from across Canada. The forum combined information exchange with strategic discussion among program participants, and wrapped up with a call to action for further development of a bioenergy cluster in Northern B.C.

"The BC Bioenergy Network has improved how we transfer research and innovation out of the lab and into the commercial marketplace," said Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell. "This will help solidify bioenergy as a major forest product as well as achieve key goals for the increased utilization of wood biomass."

The economic impact of the bioenergy sector in the region is important and this initiative will catalyze further growth. The Prince George region today is home to the province's largest biomass based power generation project and two-thirds of Canada's wood pellet production and export capacity. Prince George companies have been successful recipients of funding form the Innovative Clean Energy fund, making this a natural geographic location for bioenergy cluster development. Manufacturing and engineering companies in the Prince George region have expertise that has been exported across Western Canada in the installation of new co-generation facilities.

"With the support of the BC Bioenergy Network, Prince George will lead the way in facilitating the growth of a competitive bioenergy cluster here in Northern British Columbia," says Tim McEwan, President and CEO of Initiatives Prince George. He adds, "UNBC's strength as a research institution and our region's current leadership in commercial –scale bioenergy applications are strategic assets. This initiative will greatly support integrated economic development for the Province of BC."

"We are excited to be working with industry, community and academic institutions in the effort to support their development of plans to create a world class bioenergy industry in British Columbia," says Michael Weedon, Executive Director of the BC Bioenergy Network. "We look forward to seeing a number of projects implemented in the North flowing directly from this collaborative initiative."

About the BC Bioenergy Network

Established in April 2008 with a $25 million grant from the BC government, the BC Bioenergy Network is an industry-led association that acts as a catalyst for deploying near-term bioenergy technologies and organizing mission-driven research for the development and demonstration of sustainable to build a world class bioenergy capability in BC. For more information about the BCBN, visit www.bcbioenergy.ca.

About Initiatives Prince George

Initiatives Prince George Development Corporation delivers economic development services for the City of Prince George and is focused on the strategic development of Prince George as a knowledge-based resource economy connected to the world. In addition to contributing two-thirds of Canada's surplus wood residue, the Prince George region is home to small to medium sized businesses leading in commercial biomass utilization, from co-generation and pellet production to the manufacturing and engineering support services. For more information visit www.initiativespg.com.

Members of the Northern Bioenergy Partnership Steering Committee are:

  • (Chair) Tim McEwan, President and CEO Initiatives Prince George
  • Greg Stewart, Sinclar Group
  • Dr. Charles Jago, Initiatives Prince George
  • Leonard Legault, Alterna Biocarbon
  • Katherine Scouten, Initiatives Prince George
  • Brian Fehr, Bid Group/Deltech Manufacturing
  • Duncan Miller, Wolftek Industries
  • Geoff Paquin, Western Biomass (Interim)
  • Gail Fondahl, UNBC
  • Michael Kerr, NRC-IRAP
  • Bob Radloff, City of Prince George

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