Manitoba helps agribusinesses, processors transition to biomass heat

By Staff | May 01, 2014

Manitoba has awarded $444,000 in grants to 20 farms and agribusinesses to help ease the financial burdens associated with complying with the province’s petroleum coke and coal heating ban that went into effect at the beginning of the year.

The funds are provided through the Manitoba Biomass Energy Support Program, which was introduced last year. Successful projects can receive up to half the cost or capital or infrastructure upgrades, to a maximum of $50,000.

Grants awarded to 16 farms will aid in the conversion from coal to renewable biomass energy. The remaining four grants went to processors who will use the funding to improve capacity and efficiency in their businesses. For example, Tri J Industries received more than $32,000 to purchase processing equipment that will support its expansion into woodchip biomass.

“The demand for woodchip biomass is growing and this grant will help our company grow along with it,” said John Janzen, a partner in Tri J Industries.  “We have always sold firewood in our business, but now we will also be able to produce woodchips to sell to the local market and diversify our company.”