The Government of Canada is building a clean energy future and supporting workers in the natural resource sectors, including finding innovative ways to increase the use of underutilized forest fibre sources.
Marc G. Serré, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., in June announced $4.5 million to Mercer Celgar Limited Partnership, a company based in Castlegar, British Columbia, to deploy innovative technology and processes that improve fiber processing and address regional fiber availability issues in British Columbia.
Mercer’s Celgar mill is a single line kraft pulp mill with the capacity to produce 520,000 ADMTs of NBSK pulp per year.
The project deploys a high-capacity and low operating cost stationary flail debarker at the mill. This new flail debarker removes bark from wood that would previously end up as debris after the harvesting process. This will reduce the amount of forest waste and lower emissions from decreased forest residue burning.
“With this support from the Government of Canada, Mercer Celgar is putting in place one more piece of the sustainability puzzle as we rise to meet the challenge of climate change,” said David Gandossi, President and CEO, Mercer Celgar.
“This new wood room allows Mercer to continue its leadership position in the 21st-century bioeconomy by making full and efficient use of our valuable forest resources. In addition, this investment further supports sustainability initiatives that will enhance social, economic and environmental benefits for our communities,” Gandossi added.
Funding for this project is provided through the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program, which encourages the Canadian forest sector to adopt innovative technologies and processes to establish new product streams and emerging markets.
Budget 2021 announced up to $54.8 million over two years, starting in 2021-2022, to increase the capacity of this program. By investing in innovative forest sector technologies, the forest sector is providing greener solutions that help tackle climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy while increasing its competitiveness on a national and global scale.
Mr. Serré noted, “Pulp mills in British Columbia are working to extract the maximum benefit from forest fiber while also improving sustainability. It’s great to see innovative companies in Canada’s forest sector that are able to upgrade their operations in order to further increase efficiency and reduce emissions.”
Canada’s forest sector is a major employer of Canadians, including Indigenous Peoples, in rural and remote communities. A competitive and resilient forest sector is essential to communities and workers across the country.