FPInnovations and Bioénergie La Tuque enter into a collaborative agreement
May 17, 2016 – FPInnovations and Bioénergie La Tuque (BELT) recently announced the signing of a collaborative agreement, the main purpose of which is to lead to the installation of a biorefinery facility supplied with forest residues.
This announcement was made today in the presence of Pierre Lapointe, president and CEO of FPInnovations; Patrice J. Mangin, general manager of BELT and holder of a regional bioeconomy/bioenergy chair from Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR); Julie Boulet, minister responsible for the Mauricie region and Minister of Tourism; and Normand Beaudoin, mayor of La Tuque.
“FPInnovations is proud to be part of the BELT project, which is perfectly in line with the environmental strategy of the organization and supports the energy policies of both the Québec and Canada governments,” said Lapointe. “In addition to having a positive impact on climate changes, the production of clean energy from forest biomass fits perfectly with FPInnovations’ vision, that is, a world where products from sustainable forests contribute toward all aspects of daily life.”
The agreement has an initial term of four years and consists of three phases. The first phase includes assessing the technical and economic feasibility of the biorefinery project and confirming the availability of biomass at a competitive cost, identifying technological bottlenecks in the most promising process lines, and determining an acceptable technical and economical level of risk. Phase 2 of the agreement includes a detailed evaluation of the technologies identified in Phase 1; this phase will be assigned specifically to FPInnovations’ research teams, in collaboration with BELT and the developing regional bioeconomy/bioenergy chair held by Mangin at UQTR. The construction of a demonstration plant in La Tuque, with a defined capacity based on results obtained during Phases 1 and 2, represents Phase 3 of the project.
FPInnovations will act as a key player with regard to R&D and evaluation studies, while Mangin of BELT will lead the management of major projects and Patrice Bergeron, president of BELT, will lend his forest expertise.
“This partnership can only lead us to the completion of this important project, and we are very confident that we will get there faster and more efficiently than expected,” said Bergeron.
Mangin added that he is “extremely satisfied to see FPInnovations implication in the biorefinery project,” adding that “the fact that a centre with a national and international reputation, and a centre with experts and experience like FPInnovations, shows everyone that this project, which has been in the making for several years, has now reached a decisive point that will expedite subsequent work and decision-making.” In that way, he concludes that “the project will benefit from very close attention from the provincial and federal governments.”
The project resulting from the collaboration between FPInnovations and BELT aims at producing more than 200 million litres of biodiesel annually from the conversion of forest residues. This green energy should replace non-renewable fuels in transportation, therefore leading to a projected annual reduction in CO2 emissions of 575,000 tonnes. The project should also result in the creation of nearly 500 direct and indirect jobs in the region. Ultimately, the project aims at attracting major partners interested in investing in a commercial plant. Phases 1 and 2 will serve to reassure such investors.
“With its 490 new jobs, the project represents the future of La Tuque. We could pass on an opportunity to form an alliance with Canada’s best in this field: the people of FPInnovations,” said Beaudoin. “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to take advantage of their competencies, contact networks, and expertise. This is a huge step toward the realization of this project.”
FPInnovations is a not-for-profit world leader that specializes in the creation of scientific solutions in support of the Canadian forest sector’s global competitiveness and responds to the priority needs of its industry members and government partners. It is ideally positioned to perform research, innovate, and deliver state-of-the-art solutions for every area of the sector’s value chain, from forest operations to consumer and industrial products. FPInnovations’ staff numbers more than 525. Its R&D laboratories are located in Québec City, Montréal, and Vancouver, and it has technology transfer offices across Canada. For more information about FPInnovations, visit: www.fpinnovations.ca.
About Bioénergie La Tuque (BELT)
Bioénergie La Tuque is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to develop and create winning conditions for the development of the bioenergy sector in the area of La Tuque, including biofuel production. BELT promotes and develops the La Tuque forest biorefinery project all over the world. For more information about BELT, visit: www.ville.latuque.qc.ca/fr/affaires/bioenergie-la-tuque/