Ontario investing in pilot bio-refinery plant

Maria Church
August 23, 2016
Written by
Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines (third from left), announced the Ontario government's support for the bio-refinery pilot project on Aug. 17.
Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines (third from left), announced the Ontario government's support for the bio-refinery pilot project on Aug. 17. Image source: Facebook/Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
Aug. 23, 2016 - The Ontario government is investing $4.5 million to help FPInnovations establish a fully functioning bio-refinery plant in Thunder Bay.


The funding from the province's Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation aims to encourage sustainable forest management, create jobs and grow the Northern economy, the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines said in a press release.

The new bio-refinery plant is a pilot project that will produce bio-chemicals derived from wood, resulting in renewable, biodegradable and cost-effective alternatives to petroleum-based products for use in the construction, automotive, mining, oil and other sectors. 

Resolute Forest Products is contributing $3.5 million to the project and will host the plant at its Thunder Bay pulp and paper facility.

"The three-year research program with FPInnovations will help demonstrate the feasibility of the process and optimize potential market applications for bio-chemicals derived from wood – critical to the commercial success of the project,” Richard Garneau, president and CEO of Resolute, said in the release.

Pierre Lapointe, president and CEO of FPInnovations, said the plant will provide new pathways to large-scale production of bio-products from Canadian forests.

“The project builds on our existing partnership with Resolute Forest Products and Lakehead University, and is a glowing example of the power of collaboration to create projects that can lead to unique, innovative and environmentally-friendly products and technology. This government's confidence in the future of the forest sector and the regions dependent on it will ensure that it remains globally competitive and a significant contributor to Northern Ontario's economy,” Lapointe said in the news release.

The Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy (CRIBE) is providing operational support to FPInnovations for the Bio-Economy Technology Centre at Resolute Forest Products.

"The TMP-Bio project is an exciting new frontier in value-added wood processing and this support from the NOHFC, together with the ongoing commitment from Resolute and other partners, will continue to push Ontario to the forefront of innovation in the bio-economy,” Scott Wiebe, CEO of Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-economy, said in the release.


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