Canada Invests in Clean Technology Solutions in Quebec

News release

September 8, 2020                                             Saguenay, Quebec                                                  Natural Resources Canada      


The Government of Canada is committed to innovation and to building a clean energy future to strengthen the economy, create good jobs and support the natural resource sectors. This commitment will be more important than ever as we begin to reopen the economy and plan our recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

Joël Lightbound, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Member of Parliament for Louis-Hébert, on behalf of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced an investment of $5 million to Elkem Métal Canada Inc., a company specializing in the manufacturing of a ferroalloy used in the foundry and steel mill industry.

Committed to promoting the development of innovative technologies, the Government of Quebec announced an investment of $11.95 million to Elkem Métal Canada Inc. The funding comes from the Technoclimat ($9.45 million) and Innovation Bois ($2.5 million) programs.

The funding will help support the manufacturing of biocarbon briquettes, a renewable alternative to metallurgical coal that can reduce the environmental impact of foundries and steelworks. Elkem Métal Canada Inc. intends to replace 43,000 tonnes of metallurgical coal per year, used at its Chicoutimi plant in Quebec, with 37,000 tonnes of bio-briquette (biocarbon) for a potential reduction of 100 ktonnes of CO2 eq/yr for Elkem Métal Canada.

The project is expected to enhance the value of forest biomass, increase the production of bioenergy and significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions. It will also provide the local forest sector with an opportunity to reuse biomass wastes, which are needed to manufacture biocarbon briquettes.

Funding is provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Growth Program, which invests in clean technology research and development projects in Canada’s energy, mining and forest sectors. The program is a $155-million investment fund that helps natural resource sectors and innovators come together to accelerate the development of clean technologies that reduce the impacts on air, land and water while enhancing competitiveness and creating jobs.

The government remains committed to supporting innovative projects that create a sustainable natural resource sector and strengthen the economy. 


“The Government of Canada continues to invest in emerging clean technologies that support the competitiveness of our forestry sector while creating a clean energy future.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

“This project advances Canada’s clean energy future and supports an economy built on ideas and ingenuity. Elkem Métal Canada has found a creative use for underused materials in the forest industry and is establishing Quebec as a leader in renewable energy and sustainability.” 

Joël Lightbound
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“In addition to being very promising, this project is in line with many of our government’s priorities. With concrete results in reducing our carbon footprint, it will help us make progress in terms of energy transition. Quebec is full of talent when it comes to developing solutions to make our entire province greener. For our government, it is essential to encourage such initiatives, and we are proud to be part of them.”

Jonatan Julien
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister Responsible for the Côte-Nord Region

“Innovation and modernization are among the challenges facing Quebec’s forest products industry. By implementing strategies that will result in productivity gains, Elkem Métal Canada Inc. will contribute not only to the vitality of the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region, but also to the prosperity of the entire Quebec economy. This explains the popularity of the Wood Innovation Program and its importance for the companies that benefit from it.”

Pierre Dufour
Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue Region and the Nord-du-Québec Region

“With this project, Elkem establishes Quebec as a hub for the creation and the development of a new strategic and promising industry: biocarbon. We are proud of doing it in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean and with the complicity of the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec and the City of Saguenay. And even more proud of being part of a project that will reduce our ecological footprint, generate significant economic benefits and is widely supported.”

Jean Villeneuve
Elkem Métal Canada President and Executive Director of Elkem’s Biocarbon Division 

Associated links


Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations

Ian Cameron
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources

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