John Weston, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, today announced that the Howe Sound Pulp and Paper Mill in Port Mellon, B.C., will receive funding under the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program (PPGTP) for its Evaporator Capacity Increase Project. This project will allow the mill to improve its environmental performance by increasing its energy efficiency and production of renewable energy.
"This project shows that smart investments can increase a mill's ability to improve its environmental performance and produce clean energy, while providing important forest products for consumers," said Mr. Weston. "The Green Transformation Program is helping Canada's pulp and paper sector become more environmentally sustainable by supporting innovation and investments in green technologies."
Howe Sound Pulp and Paper is one of 24 pulp and paper companies across Canada that qualified for credits under the $1-billion program, based on their 2009 production levels of black liquor - a liquid by-product of the pulping process used to generate heat and power.
The mill plans to invest in a series of upgrades to its evaporator to redirect more steam for the production of electricity and to realize overall efficiencies in the equipment's operation. By augmenting its renewable energy production, the mill is reducing its reliance on natural gas, which will lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The upgrades are also expected to produce an excess of 8,200 megawatt-hours of electrical power - enough energy to power 800 homes a year - which the mill plans to sell to BC Hydro.
"The future of Howe Sound, and the Canadian pulp and paper industry, is closely tied to improved energy efficiency and increased renewable energy production," said Mac Palmiere, President and Chief Executive Officer of Howe Sound Pulp and Paper. "The Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program provides us with a golden opportunity to make investments that will help improve our performance in both of these key areas."
This first step toward diversifying Howe Sound Pulp and Paper's product line to include clean energy will enable the mill to take advantage of opportunities in Canada's bioeconomy. Environmental and commercial sustainability will, in turn, help the mill maintain 450 jobs.
This investment complements initiatives that are being delivered under Canada's Economic Action Plan to sustain and improve the forest industry in Canada. Budget 2010 is providing $100 million over four years to support the development, commercialization and implementation of advanced technologies in the forest sector - helping create a world-class industry able to compete in the clean energy economy of tomorrow.
In addition, the Government of Canada has committed $170 million to assist the development of next-generation forest products and expand global markets for Canadian forest products. This funding includes $40 million to develop pilot-scale demonstrations developed under the Transformative Technologies Program.