Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada

January 27, 2011 12:30 ET

Government of Canada Invests in Forest Industry Transformation at Alberta Newsprint Mill

WHITECOURT, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Jan. 27, 2011) - The Government of Canada today announced an investment in new Canadian technology that will contribute to a more sustainable pulp and paper industry in Canada.

The Honourable Rob Merrifield, Minister of State (Transport), announced the $1.05-million investment at the Alberta Newsprint Company mill in Whitecourt, Alberta. The mill will receive funding under the Transformative Technologies Pilot Scale Demonstration Program to implement state-of-the-art technology that will result in substantial reductions in energy and fresh water consumption at the mill.

"The Government of Canada is investing in the evolution of our forest industry by encouraging the development and adoption of state-of-the-art Canadian technology," said Minister Merrifield. "Innovative projects such as this one are essential to expanding and diversifying market opportunities both at home and abroad and to securing high-quality jobs in forest-dependent communities."

Other funding for the project includes a contribution of more than $1 million from the Alberta Newsprint Company and an $80,000 investment by Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions.

"This technology will enable Alberta Newsprint to consume larger sawmill residual chip volumes of beetle-attacked pine and threatened green pine while simultaneously reducing our fresh water consumption from the Athabasca River," said Gary Smith, Technical Director, Alberta Newsprint Company. "The technology holds great promise for many pulp and paper producers. The technology provides for concentrating pitch-laden dark pulp fibres, enabling reductions in water usage, chemical usage and energy savings. We expect to start up the equipment in early March."

"This new technology was made possible through collaboration among industry, government and research organizations such as ours," said Stan Blade, Chief Executive Officer of Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions. "The commercialization of this technology at Alberta Newsprint may lead to new solutions for our pulp and paper industry in addressing the mountain pine beetle challenge and water sustainability."

As part of the strategic investments under the Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Transformative Technologies Pilot Scale Demonstration Program is administered by FPInnovations and supports the development of new and emerging highly transformative Canadian forest products and technologies.

"As Canada's forest sector innovation hub, we believe that through multipartite projects we will be able to demonstrate the viability of new technologies with a view to creating and marketing new products and developing new markets," said Alan Potter, FPInnovations' Vice-President of Strategic Initiatives & Technology. "This innovative technology, developed by FPInnovations, positions the organization as a strong partner of the forest industry's transformation."

Today's announcement builds on the success of many initiatives that are helping to sustain and enhance Canada's forest industry and the communities that depend on it. Budget 2010: Leading the Way on Jobs and Growth established the $100-million Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program to promote the development, commercialization and implementation of advanced technologies in the forest sector — helping create a world-class industry able to compete in the clean energy economy of tomorrow.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Minister of State Merrifield today announced that the Alberta Newsprint Mill in Whitecourt, Alberta, will receive $1.05 million under the Transformative Technologies Pilot Scale Demonstration Program. The funding will support a project designed to open up new potential opportunities for Canada's pulp and paper sector.

The following media backgrounder is available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media:

Federal Government Invests in Forest Innovation and the Bioeconomy

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Merrifield
    Robert Lynch
    Ottawa
    613-617-3276
    or
    Natural Resources Canada
    Media Relations
    Ottawa
    613-992-4447
    or
    The general public may contact:
    Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. EST
    613-995-0947
    TTY: 613-996-4397
    (teletype for the hearing-impaired)
    questions@nrcan.gc.ca