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Canada federal funding toward forest industry innovation includes Millar Western anaerobic project at Alberta pulp mill

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Canada federal funding toward forest industry innovation includes Millar Western anaerobic project at Alberta pulp mill

April 09, 2013 - 07:51

SAN FRANCISCO, April 9, 2013 (RISI) -The government of Canada last week announced $30.4 million in federal funding toward "the transformation of the forest industry through innovation and market expansion." The mostly wood products investments also include an energy project at Millar Western Forest Products' pulp mill in Alberta.

Addressing forest industry stakeholders at the annual Council of Forest Industries (COFI) convention in British Columbia, Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver announced an investment of $19.5 million in five projects in Western Canada under the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program. He also announced $10.9 million in funding for the 2013-14 Expanding Market Opportunities Program, including support for a Canadian wood products trade office in India.

"Investments like these are helping to shape the forest industry of tomorrow," Oliver said at the Apr. 4 COFI meeting in Prince George, BC. "Today, we are developing and commercializing products we could hardly have imagined just a few years ago and reaching new and more diverse markets domestically and abroad."

The IFIT funding includes $6.75 million to Millar Western in Whitecourt, AB. For the first time in Canada's forest sector on a commercial scale, the mill will generate green energy from pulp mill effluent by using innovative anaerobic hybrid digester technology, the government said. This waste-to-energy technology has strong potential for replication at other mills across Canada.

Other projects include $4.9 million for Tolko Industries to make both specialty and commodity oriented-strand-board (OSB) at its Meadow Lake mill in Saskatchewan.