|From left: Senator Percy
Jean-Paul Savoie of Groupe Savoie,
and New Brunswick Premier
"Our government will seize every opportunity to create and maintain jobs for New Brunswickers," says New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham. "Strategic investments such as these, coupled with our plan for lower taxes and the lower rates that would occur under our new proposed energy agreement with Hydro-Québec, will make us more competitive and ensure that more New Brunswickers are employed."
The Province of New Brunswick is providing $5 million toward the $11-million project through a nonrepayable contribution and a loan.
"The Government of Canada, through the Economic Action Plan, is taking steps to stimulate the economy, create jobs and support communities hardest hit by the global economic downturn," says Senator Percy Mockler. "Our investment of $2 million through the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF) will allow Groupe Savoie to provide important construction employment opportunities and help maintain more than 500 jobs in the forestry sector while creating an additional 17 full-time jobs and acquiring new technology for the company." Mockler attended on behalf of Keith Ashfield, minister of state for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).
The funding will allow Groupe Savoie to purchase and install equipment and provide training for a wood pellet and briquette manufacturing plant that it will build next to its existing hardwood operations in Saint-Quentin. Groupe Savoie's existing operations will supply the sawdust, shavings, bark, and chips needed to manufacture the wood pellets and briquettes and allow them to produce an estimated 50,000 tons of pellets and 8,000 tons of briquettes. Export sales are expected to reach more than $9 million.
"We are very pleased that the two levels of government have confidence in us and are willing to put in the hard yards to enable us to ensure business continuity at Groupe Savoie," says Jean-Claude Savoie, president of Groupe Savoie. "Investing in this green energy project, the products of which will initially be mostly exported to Europe, will help make our beautiful province greener. One day, in what I hope is the not too distant future, these granules will be used as a source of energy and will replace heating oil on this side of the Atlantic. We have shifted toward value-added products for years now, and this is another good example."
The Government of Canada, through ACOA, is contributing $2 million toward the project under the CAF. Canada's Economic Action Plan provided a total of $1 billion over two years for the CAF to support initiatives that help create and maintain jobs in communities affected by the economic downturn. Atlantic Canada's allocation of $100 million under the CAF is administered by the ACOA.