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Federal government announces $4M in funding for two BC forestry projects


April 18, 2019
By Ellen Cools
Ellen Cools

The government of Canada has announced over $4 million in funding for two projects in B.C, which are expected to result in 300 forestry jobs.

Of the $4 million in funding, which comes from Western Economic Diversification Canada, $2.38 million go to the University of British Columbia (UBC) for research and testing clean technologies that generate renewable natural gas (RNG) from forest residues. Using clean technology, affordable fuel will be produced, which can then be used to power pulp mills or be sold to export markets.

According to a government news release, this will result in 238 new jobs as mills adopt renewable natural gas technology. The university also believes the forestry sector will earn an additional $84 million in revenue as pulp mills retrofit operations to adopt RNG operations.

“B.C.’s forests have tremendous potential as a source of clean, renewable materials and energy as well as jobs, and UBC is supporting the BC Pulp and Paper Bio-Alliance to achieve this vision. This new investment will accelerate the research and testing that is bringing that vision to life – and ultimately help achieve carbon reduction targets for B.C. and Canada,” said Professor Santa J. Ono, UBC president and vice-chancellor, in the release.

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The remaining $1.56 million will go to FPInnovations’ Indigenous Forest Technical Support Program to improve Indigenous businesses’ competitiveness in the forestry industry. The funding aims to help Indigenous forestry companies facing technical, human or financial resources challenges gain greater experience and understanding through practical plant visits and workshops.

The goal is to enhance Indigenous businesses’ opportunities for success, and is expected to create 100 new jobs, as well as maintain 300 existing jobs. FPInnovations says this project will attract $10 million in new capital investment for manufacturing capacity.

“FPInnovations welcomes the commitment of Western Economic Diversification Canada and the province of B.C. in supporting the sustainable growth of Indigenous forest sector businesses by co-funding FPInnovations’ Indigenous Forest Sector Technical Support Program. Furthermore, FPInnovations is proud to contribute toward solving environmental challenges through the development of new clean technologies,” said Stéphane Renou, President and CEO of FPInnovations, in a statement.