Largest Biochar Production Plant in North America Contributes to Canadian Net-Zero Goals

News release

July 5, 2023        Port-Cartier, Quebec                               Natural Resources Canada Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)

As we move toward a more prosperous and sustainable Canada, every sector of our economy can contribute to the fight against climate change. These contributions can range from greener practices in our buildings and working with communities to care for our forests and wildlife to upgrading our industries to utilize more sustainable and clean technologies.

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED), today announced a total contribution of $10.5 million to CARBONITY, a joint venture between Airex Énergie, SUEZ and Groupe Rémabec, for its new project to transform wood residues into value-added biochar products that sequester carbon. 

A contribution of $7.5 million comes from Natural Resources Canada through the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program, which aims to support the competitiveness and transformation of Canada’s forest sector through targeted investments in advanced technologies and products. The project also received a $3-million repayable contribution under CED’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program. CED's assistance will cover the acquisition and installation of digital production equipment such as grinders and dryers.

The CARBONITY project will involve the construction of a new plant that will transform biomass waste into value-added biochar, a carbon-rich material made up of organic residues such as plants and wood that can, among other things, be used as a soil amendment. Biochar can also accelerate the replacement of metallurgical coal, an essential ingredient in the production of steel, and decrease carbon emitted by smelting operations.

This project will result in a variety of environmental and economic benefits, such as providing industrial decarbonization and carbon sequestration solutions to increase the environmental performance of the natural resource sectors. The facility will be the largest biochar production plant in North America and Europe and will add value to underutilized, low-grade wood residuals and forest waste, including insect-infested wood. The new plant will also create job opportunities and an outlet for wood residuals in the Port-Cartier region, without which local forest products facilities would not be able to operate.

With more and more companies looking to decarbonize their production processes, the CARBONITY project will help contribute to Canada’s climate goals and the global biochar market. This means good jobs and economic growth as well as lower emissions.


“Canada’s forest sector has been an economic driver for communities across Canada, providing livelihoods and opportunity for workers and families. By investing in innovative technologies and practices, such as CARBONITY, we are creating pathways to lower emissions and good jobs for workers in this key sector.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson

Minister of Natural Resources 

“Our government has made concrete commitments to demonstrate that a strong economy and a healthy environment go hand-in-hand. One of the priorities of our economic recovery plan is strategic investment in clean technologies. That is why we are supporting CARBONITY’s project to set up a biochar production plant in Port-Cartier. By assisting startups and supporting innovation in the development of greener technologies and products, we are paving the way for the jobs of tomorrow.”

The Honourable Pascale St-Onge

Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for CED

"On behalf of CARBONITY, a joint venture between Airex Energy, Groupe Rémabec and SUEZ, I would like to thank the federal government for its support in this project, which positions Canada at the forefront of the biochar market, a high-potential decarbonization solution." 


Michel Gagnon

CARBONITY representative and CEO of Airex Energy

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Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations

Keean Nembhard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources

Media Relations
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

Ariane Joazard Bélizaire
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

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