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Manitoba government provides biomass transition grants

February 25, 2014, Winnipeg, Man. - As part of the province's commitment to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, 20 farms and agri‑businesses across the province are receiving more than $444,000 in grants to switch from coal to biomass heating systems.


February 25, 2014
By Government of Manitoba

February 25, 2014, Winnipeg, Man. – As part of the
province's commitment to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, 20 farms and agri‑businesses
across the province are receiving more than $444,000 in grants to switch from coal
to biomass heating systems. Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister
Ron Kostyshyn and Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh
made the announcement of the grants. 

 

"Manitoba's plan to increase biomass energy is creating
good, green jobs in rural Manitoba and adding value for Manitoba farmers,"
said Minister Kostyshyn. "We are reducing our carbon footprint while
supporting the growth and long-term sustainability of many rural
businesses."

 

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These projects are estimated to reduce the amount of coal
used by more than 4,500 tonnes every year, reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by
approximately 7,000 tonnes as a result. The amount of biomass available for use
is expected to increase by 7,600 tonnes annually as a result of the funded
projects, the minister said.

 

"These grants put the necessary infrastructure and
tools in place to support the transition away from coal and into renewable fuels,"
said Minister Mackintosh. "It's clear that Manitobans understand and
support the need to make this change for the long-term health of our
environment, our communities and the economy."

 

Successful projects received up to half the cost of capital
or infrastructure upgrades to a maximum of $50,000 through the Manitoba Biomass
Energy Support Program.  Sixteen grants
will help farms convert from coal to renewable biomass energy. The other four
recipients are processors who will use the funding to improve capacity and
efficiency in their businesses. 

 

Tri J Industries, a sawmill near the town of Riding
Mountain, 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."

 

Manitoba has committed to use coal and petroleum coke
(petcoke) tax revenues to help coal users convert to biomass. The province
implemented North America's first coal heating ban on Jan. 1.  If an approved conversion plan is submitted
by June 30, a grace period to comply will extend to July 1, 2017. 

 

These grants also support the province's bio-products
strategy created in 2011 to encourage the development of value-added processing
in rural and northern Manitoba's agriculture and forestry sectors. More
information on Manitoba's biomass sector is available at:
www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture.

 

The province also released its 2012 climate change report
today, which is a progress update on Manitoba's emissions reduction under the
Climate Change and Emissions Reductions Act. The report indicates that since
2000, Manitoba's population has increased by 11 per cent, the economy has grown
by 31 per cent but greenhouse-gas emissions are down by two per cent.  The report is available at:
gov.mb.ca/conservation/climate/pdf/2012_climate_change_web.pdf.


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