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West Fraser’s Hinton, AB, pulp mill gains $38M in Canada green energy funding for two projects

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West Fraser’s Hinton, AB, pulp mill gains $38M in Canada green energy funding for two projects

November 12, 2010 - 04:23
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EDMONTON, AB, Nov. 12, 2010 (Press Release) -The Government of Canada is investing in West Fraser Mills Limited to improve the company's environmental performance and to help drive the evolution of Canada's forest sector, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister for Natural Resources, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, and the Honourable Rob Merrifield, Minister of State for Transport, announced today.

The Hinton Pulp Mill will receive $37.85 million from the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program (PPGTP) for two projects to improve energy efficiency at the mill and redirect more steam toward the production of renewable electricity - enough to meet the power needs of approximately 900 homes per year.

"Action like today's announcement is helping to improve the environmental performance of Canada's forest sector and to sustain the jobs and livelihood of forest sector workers for years to come," said Minister Paradis. "Since its launch a year ago, the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program has made great strides in helping industry position itself for future opportunities through innovation and environmental performance."

PPGTP funding will be used to install new components and upgrade an existing boiler and pulp machine in order to increase energy efficiency and renewable electricity generation at the mill. Combined, these capital improvement projects will produce more than 10,000 megawatt hours of additional green power per year. These projects will also enable the mill to reduce its natural gas consumption by more than 112,000 gigajoules per year and cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 5,600 tonnes annually.

By reinforcing Hinton Pulp's environmental stewardship, the mill is able to meet market demands for sustainably manufactured pulp and paper products.

"We, as a company, are very pleased with the design and implementation of the Government of Canada's Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program. In order to receive the credits from the PPGTP, mills must invest capital in the projects that focus on energy and environmental improvements. The projects identified at Hinton Pulp meet both of these important criteria," said Brian Grantham, General Manager, Hinton Pulp. "The upgrades to the recovery boiler and pulp machine will allow the mill to produce more green power, reduce its natural gas consumption, and lower its carbon footprint. The successful completion of these projects is an important step for Hinton Pulp in improving its overall competitiveness and long-term outlook."

Today's announcement complements and builds upon the success of many initiatives that are helping to sustain and enhance Canada's forest industry and the families and communities that depend on it. Budget 2010: Leading the Way on Jobs and Growth established the $100-million Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program to promote 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, under Canada's Economic Action Plan 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 under the Transformative Technologies Program.

"Our Government is working hard to ensure opportunities to develop leading-edge forest products and secure access to global markets where demand for Canadian wood products is growing," said Minister Ambrose. "Canada's forest industry is facing new market priorities where green technologies and collaborations outside of forestry are reshaping the future for this sector and its workers in Alberta and across Canada."