Industry Canada

Industry Canada
Government of Canada

Government of Canada

November 14, 2006 09:30 ET

Canada's New Government Announces $29 Million Investment in Innovative Environmental Projects

RIVIERE-DU-LOUP, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 14, 2006) - The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, today announced on behalf of the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry, repayable investments totalling $29 million in research and development (R&D) projects by Premier Tech Ltd., a Riviere-du-Loup-based company. The funding is part of three separate projects totalling $79.6 million that will generate environmental benefits for Canadians, including water quality and energy conservation.

"These R&D projects will produce benefits not only here in Quebec, but in various parts of the country," said Minister Blackburn. "Investing in sustainable development and environmental technologies benefits Canadians and provides them with a cleaner and healthier country."

"Innovation is vital for economic strength," said Minister Bernier. "Companies like Premier Tech are increasing knowledge and developing new solutions to environmental challenges, ensuring that Canada remains competitive in global markets."

Premier Tech specializes in the design and production of peat moss-
based growing media for commercial operators and consumers. The
financial assistance from Canada's new government will help to:

- develop improved equipment for innovative peat harvesting and storage systems, resulting in reduced dust emissions, energy consumption, and product and packaging waste, as well as improved regeneration of wetlands;

- create on-site wastewater treatment technologies to solve environmental problems associated with wastewater systems and ensure optimal management of water resources;

- introduce beneficial organisms to growing media to produce plants that are more resistant to drought and disease.

"These investments in our innovation, research and development program will lead to the creation of over 150 new products," said Premier Tech President and Chief Executive Officer Jean Belanger.

A repayable investment of $19.1 million is being made by Technology Partnerships Canada, an agency of Industry Canada, and $9.9 million by the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec.

The news release and other documents are available on the Technology Partnerships Canada website at http://www.tpc-ptc.ic.gc.ca.



Backgrounder

Canada's new government announces environmental R&D investments in Premier Tech Ltd.

The Government of Canada will invest $29 million in three research and development (R&D) projects totalling $79.6 million by Premier Tech Ltd. of Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec, to develop packaging and harvesting equipment, wastewater treatment, and agricultural and horticultural products. These technologies will bring sustainable development and environmental benefits to Canadians.

The first investment, $12.2 million toward a $33.6 million project, is supporting the design and development of equipment for innovative peat harvesting, and general bagging and storage systems, which will reduce dust emissions, improve regeneration of wetlands, and reduce energy consumption and product and packaging waste.

The second investment, $6.6 million toward a $17.6 million project, is supporting the development of on-site wastewater treatment technologies, building on a previous Premier Tech R&D program. The biofiltration technology will solve environmental issues associated with wastewater systems by substantially decreasing the accumulation of pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorus over the long term. This will ensure optimal management of water resources.

The third investment, $10.2 million toward a $28.4 million project, will help support the development of a method to introduce beneficial organisms to growing media to produce plants that are more resistant to drought and disease. The new growing media's improved water retention and 60% reduction in the need for chemical pesticides will result in environmental benefits such as water conservation and pollution prevention. The project will provide a high-performance gardening product for both home gardeners and horticultural professionals.

Premier Tech employs approximately 1,500 employees in its seven wholly owned subsidiaries, specializing in the design and production of peat moss-based growing media for commercial operators and consumers. It develops products and services that take advantage of the natural benefits of sphagnum peat moss, a versatile, renewable resource that can be used for many purposes including wastewater and air treatment, energy and horticultural functions, as well as composting operations.

Technology Partnerships Canada, an agency of Industry Canada, is making a repayable investment of $19.1 million, while the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec is providing a repayable investment of $9.9 million to support the demonstration and commercialization components of the projects.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Maxime Bernier
    Minister of Industry
    Isabelle Fontaine
    613-995-9001
    or
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    613-943-2502
    or
    Office of the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn
    Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development
    Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
    Roxane Marchand
    819-953-5646 (office)
    613-816-5094 (cellphone)