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Feds to invest $30m in forest industry

While addressing forest industry stakeholders at the annual Council of Forest Industries (COFI) convention, Canada's Minister of Natural resources announced a total of $30.4 million in federal funding to further support the transformation of the forest industry through innovation and market expansion.


April 5, 2013
By John Tenpenny

Joe Oliver announced an investment of $19.5 million in five projects in Western Canada under the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program and $10.9 million in funding for the 2013–14 Expanding Market Opportunities Program, including support for a Canadian wood products trade office in India.

“By encouraging the development and commercialization of innovative Canadian technologies and next-generation forest products, our Government is helping to unleash the tremendous potential of our forests and creating jobs across the country,” said Minister Oliver. “It’s great to see better times return to the forest industry, and our Government remains committed to its ongoing transformation.

“Investments like these are helping to shape the forest industry of tomorrow,” added Minister Oliver. “Today, we are developing and commercializing products we could hardly have imagined just a few years ago and reaching new and more diverse markets domestically and abroad.”

The Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program supports Canada’s forest sector in becoming more economically competitive and environmentally sustainable through targeted investments in innovative technologies. Included in today’s announcement is funding for five unique projects across Western Canada. Each project represents a Canadian-first or in many cases, a world-first application of new technology. These exciting new projects will showcase Canada’s leadership in pioneering new products and new expertise for the benefit of our nation’s forest sector and for the communities that depend on it.

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The Expanding Market Opportunities Program was designed to help create a thriving forest sector by growing international markets; promoting Canadian forest products as an environmentally responsible choice; expanding wood use in North American non-residential and mid-rise construction; and by demonstrating that Canada is a world leader in sustainable forest management and a preferred source of sustainable forest products. Today’s funding will help make Canadian forest products even more attractive and viable in the global marketplace.

Forest Industry Transformation Projects:

Tekle Technical Services (TTS), Drayton Valley, Alberta – $4.5 million
This investment will support the creation of Canada’s first facility that manufactures engineered biocomposites fibre mats – made with world-first, Canadian-developed processes. Lightweight, renewable biocomposite fibre mats can be used to make dozens of products including compression-moulded panels for the automotive industry.

Millar Western Forest Products Ltd., Whitecourt, Alberta – $6.75 million
For the first time in Canada’s forest sector on a commercial scale, Millar Western Forest Products will generate green energy from pulp mill effluent by using innovative anaerobic hybrid digester technology. This waste-to-energy technology has strong potential for replication at other mills across Canada.

Tolko Industries Meadow Lake, Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan – $4.9 million
The innovative technologies funded through this project will make Tolko Industries the first facility in North America to produce specialty- and commodity-oriented strand board products on one production line, while enhancing quality and performance of the final product.

Structurlam, Okanagan Falls, British Columbia – $2 million
Structurlam will install the necessary technology and equipment to manufacture the innovative EcoStructure Wall System, a new cross-laminated timber product that provides a renewable alternative to more traditional, energy-intensive building materials such as concrete and steel.

BC Passive House, Pemberton, British Columbia – $1.4 million
BC Passive House will be Canada’s first manufacturing plant for prefabricating a panelized system that meets the rigorous Passive House Standard, currently the world’s most rigorous energy standard. These prefabricated panels combine Canadian wood and wood byproducts, advanced design, superior insulation and air tightness to create an ultra low-energy-use building.

Click here for more information on the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation Program.