Announcing Support for Innovative Forest Product Technologies At the 20th Annual BC Natural Resources Forum  

News release

January 18, 2023         Prince George, British Columbia    Natural Resources Canada

By investing in the development and deployment of innovative low-carbon technologies and forest products, Canada is helping to support a more competitive, prosperous and environmentally sustainable forest sector. 

Today, Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, participated at the 20th Annual BC Natural Resources Forum and announced a total contribution of over $10 million to HTEC and West Fraser Mills Ltd. The contribution comes from the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program, which facilitates the adoption of innovative technologies by bridging the gap between product development and commercialization. 

Located in Nanaimo, B.C., HTEC’s project will operate a renewable hydrogen production facility at the Harmac Pacific Pulp Mill, producing clean hydrogen by electrolysis. With a $10-million contribution through IFIT, this hydrogen will be used as clean fuel for transportation and heating, and will help the mill decarbonize its operations. HTEC’s project with Harmac Pacific is an example of how surplus energy from mills can be utilized to lower emissions and advance federal and provincial clean hydrogen goals. 

Employees at West Fraser Mills Ltd. in Quesnel, B.C., are currently conducting two studies through a contribution of over $449,000 from the IFIT program. The first study will take place at the Quesnel River Pulp facility and explore market opportunities for Propel, a plastic biocomposite made from cellulose that has the potential to replace traditional petroleum-based plastics. This study will support efforts to identify market opportunities for fibre-based biocomposites in Canada and to reduce the amount of harmful plastic waste in our economy and environment.

The second study, a collaboration with the City of Quesnel, will evaluate the feasibility of a district heating system using recovery of excess heat discharged from the Cariboo Pulp and Paper Mill. The recovered heat would help eliminate the use of fossil fuels for heating while simultaneously lowering emissions and monthly energy bills.

IFIT-funded projects such as these are contributing to the  further diversification and enhanced sustainability of the forest sector and to the development of the Canadian economy through high-value bioproducts. The projects led by HTEC and West Fraser Mills Ltd. showcase the economic and environmental opportunities presented by the deployment of innovative technology that reduces waste and lowers emissions.

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