Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada

November 22, 2013 16:10 ET

Harper Government Invests in Transformation of Saskatchewan's Forest Industry

MEADOW LAKE, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwired - Nov. 22, 2013) - Rob Clarke, Member of Parliament for Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River, on behalf of the Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, today announced $2.6 million in funding for a project that is helping sustain jobs in rural communities in Saskatchewan and advance the transformation of Canada's forest sector. This investment is the final instalment of support from the $1-billion Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program (PPGTP).

"The Harper Government recognizes that the forest sector is an important economic driver in communities across Canada, and we remain committed to the ongoing transformation of Canada's forest industry," said MP Clarke. "That is why our Government is supporting the forest sector by investing in world-class forest research, technological innovation and improving environmental performance."

"Investments like those announced today are part of our Government's strategy to protect jobs and ensure a more sustainable future for Canada's forest industries," added Minister Oliver. "We are engaged to further transform this sector and help open new market opportunities and foster innovation."

Today's funding is enabling Meadow Lake Mechanical Pulp mill in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, to improve the energy efficiency of the mill through the installation of two low-consistency refiners that reduce its consumption of electricity while maintaining the same pulp quality.

In addition to the direct environmental benefits of PPGTP projects, the program has helped generate new investments that are making Canadian pulp and paper facilities more sustainable and more competitive. In total, the program has provided funding for 98 projects in 38 communities and supported more than 14,000 jobs. Together, these projects are producing enough renewable energy to meet the equivalent of the annual power needs of all of the houses in Calgary, Alberta. In some cases, mills are expanding their revenue streams by selling their surplus energy to the grid. The renewable electricity generated by PPGTP-funded projects is expected to create $149 million annually in revenues for Canadian pulp and paper mills.

Collectively, these projects are expected to directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions of the Canadian pulp and paper sector by more than 10 percent, and communities are benefiting from improved air emissions and reduced noise from mills.

The focus of this next phase of transformation is on extracting more value from forest resources and taking advantage of opportunities in Canada's bio-economy. The Forest Innovation Program announced in Budget 2012 and the $100-million Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program are helping 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.

The Meadow Lake Mechanical Pulp mill project is one of 16 PPGTP-funded projects announced today by the Government of Canada, representing a total investment of $109.2 million.

For more information on these federal initiatives, please visit www.canadaforests.nrcan.gc.ca.

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