Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada

March 14, 2011 14:28 ET

Harper Government Invests in Canada's Forest Sector

NACKAWIC, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire - March 14, 2011) - The Government of Canada today announced a series of important investments across the country, totalling $88 million, to protect jobs in Canada's forest industry. The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, and Mike Allen, Member of Parliament for Tobique–Mactaquac, were in Nackawic today to announce that the AV Group will receive $24 million under the Transformative Technologies Pilot Scale Demonstration Program and the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program (PPGTP).

"Our Government's top priority remains the economy," said Minister Ashfield. "With the economic recovery still fragile, we will continue to take action to protect and create jobs in Canada, including the important forestry jobs in New Brunswick."

"This funding allows us to invest in projects right away, which will decrease our use of energy, reduce our emissions and support jobs at both of our facilities," said Shankar Ray, President and CEO of AV Group. "We are also very happy to be working with the Federal Government and FP Innovations to establish a state-of-the-art biogas plant at our Atholville facility."

Through the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program, the AV Group will receive $19 million for process upgrades to reduce the environmental footprint of AV's facilities while increasing efficiency and the generation of renewable energy.

Funding for the Nackawic facility will be used to purchase equipment to increase energy efficiency.

In Atholville, PPGTP funding will be used for projects to increase the mill's production of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency. These projects are expected to save enough energy to power more than 5,800 homes, as well as decrease greenhouse gas emissions."

In addition to PPGTP funding, the AV Cell Atholville Biogas Project will receive $5 million in funding from the Transformative Technologies Pilot Scale Demonstration Program to implement an innovative new technology that will reduce the mill's dependence on fossil fuels.

"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 Jean Hamel, FPInnovations' Vice-President. "This project integrates innovative technology developed by FPInnovations and positions the organization as a strong partner of the Forest Industry's transformation."

Despite signs of recovery in some segments of the forest sector, there remains a need to find new and more efficient ways of using wood, wood fibre and its byproducts. Today's announcement is part of the Government of Canada's plan to improve the environmental performance and competitiveness of Canada's forest industry by focusing on innovation and new product development that will ultimately expand market opportunities for both traditional and novel Canadian wood, pulp and paper products.

"With these investments our Government is continuing to implement our plan that supports the transformation of Canada's forest sector for the benefit of all Canadians," said MP Allen. "Our investments are supporting expansion of market opportunities for Canadian forest products, reducing our environmental footprint, improving the competitiveness of the forest industry and helping protect the jobs of the families who depend on our forest sector for their livelihood."

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:

Atlantic Gateway Minister Keith Ashfield and MP Mike Allen announced today that the Government of Canada is investing $24 million in the AV Group's facilities in Nackawic and Atholville, New Brunswick, to help transform the Canadian forest industry while enhancing environmental performance and competitiveness.

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

Securing Jobs Through Forest Sector Innovation and Renewal

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

Contact Information

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