Canadian biomass network to boost struggling forestry region

By Luke Geiver | May 30, 2012

A Canadian organization tasked with spurring economic growth in a struggling forestry region in Quebec by promoting biomass-to-energy development has received a financial boost from the Economic Development Agency of Canada. Through a non-repayable funding award of roughly $200,000, the Network of Expertise and Recovery in Forest Biomass will continue developing biomass-to-energy startup companies, products or experienced individuals capable of helping the economy through the utilization of biomass in the Regional County Municipality of La Matapedia. The area is struggling with the decline of its forestry industry.

The funding will be used to hire staff to coordinate and carry out the goals of the biomass group. The financial support to the network, according to Jacques Gourde, a parliament member from the region, provides proof of the government’s commitment to promoting economic growth grounded in innovation. The funding comes from the Temporary Initiative for the Strengthening of Quebec’s Forest Economies, an organization formed in 2010 to help communities affected by the forestry crisis diversify their economies, according to the Economic Development Agency of Canada. Part of the organization’s goal is to support secondary and tertiary wood processing projects in those regions.

The funding given to the Quebec biomass network is relatively small in comparison to the funding given to other Canadian projects aimed at securing forestry community economies. The Community Adjustment Fund aimed at mitigating the impacts of the downturn in the forestry industry, was given a $1 billion budget over two years. The Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program was also given $1 billion, and the Government of Quebec has already invested $238 million to maintain forested roads.




3 Responses

  1. Jason Seaton



    As well intentioned as this funding may be I think it is going to have zero impact on the market. The industry isn't saying "ooh I wish here was a new technology or company that will help me to convert biomass into energy". The technology and expertise is here. The major challenge is that energy prices are too low to justify an investment in biomass. The other sad story is that a biomass plant will create 1/100 of the jobs a pulp mill would create.

  2. Andi R.



    I am from Indonesia country and I am very interested in this information. I just think also on the utilization of wood waste as energy. In our country a lot of biomass, so if you want to share technology and knowledge with us on the utilization of biomass for energy, we are very happy.

  3. Cesar



    Please excuse my btunitg in from the other side of the planet,but I stumbled onto your discussion by accident and felt that some important points had to be made.My wife and I are trying to reforest cleared , badly degraded ,farmland and are watching the developements in biomass energy with interest as it will provide a market for the thinnings and lower grade offcuts that are normally just a fire hazard waiting to happen.There is a lot of poor quality farmland around here that should never have been cleared ,and a good result for us may encourage some of our neighbours to look at forestry in a different light.At this stage, whenever the subject comes up, the first question is what about the greenies? .I know what they mean,I come from 5 generations of tree growers, mixed age, mixed species, natural australian forest.When others tripled the value of their land by clearing it or magnified its value tenfold by housing subdivisions, my family stuck with forestry, with interfearance from people who should have been trying to help. If the green movement had decided to back sustainable forestry instead of concrete, steel, plastic etc the planet would be in a lot better shape.


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