THURSO, QC, Nov. 29, 2016 (CNW) -Supporting innovation in the forest sector will result in more renewable options in the production of a range of consumer items – from the cars we drive to the clothes we wear. This will help address climate change, create new opportunities and markets for Canadian forest companies and sustain good middle-class jobs for Canadians.
The Governments of Canada and Quebec will provide $12.5 million to Fortress Specialty Cellulose (FSC) Inc., in Thurso, Quebec, to install a new system designed to use birch wood to produce dissolving pulp, an ingredient that is used in many everyday products, including clothing, car parts and medical equipment. Stéphane Lauzon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities and MP for Argenteuil–La Petite-Nation, on behalf of Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, and Luc Blanchette, Quebec's Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, made the announcement today at FSC.
The Government of Canada is providing $9 million and the Government of Quebec is providing $3.5 million for this project, which will help secure more than 300 local jobs and provide additional labour and investment for the local economy. Funding is provided through Natural Resources Canada's Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program and Quebec's Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks.
The FSC mill will be the first of its kind in Canada to produce dissolving pulp from birch wood. Processing birch using current systems is difficult and uses more energy because it is a hardwood. This project will result in a system that can draw from a greater fibre supply, with lower production and energy costs.
"Technology and innovation have placed our forest sector at the threshold of a new era of material science. Adopting new ways of using renewable forest materials will help ensure that Canada's forest sector continues to play a key role in our economy and contributes to efforts to address climate change."
Canada's Minister of Natural Resources
"On behalf of the Government of Quebec, I am proud to be taking part in a first-of-its-kind project in North America, namely the development of a new technology for producing dissolving pulp from birch trees. Capitalizing on the technological advances made possible by green chemistry, Fortress Speciality Cellulose will offer opportunities for crush-quality hardwood, particularly yellow and white birch – species that are currently overlooked by the industry but are very present in the Outaouais region. In addition to having a positive impact on regional forestry operations and facilitating access to timber, this project will help grow the entire regional forestry sector. This financial assistance comes on the heels of the Forum Innovation Bois [wood innovation forum]."
Quebec Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks
"We are delighted by the support of the federal and provincial governments. These investments highlight the innovative and transformative potential of producing dissolving pulp using birch as the first step to entering the emerging renewable raw materials space. The planned projects at the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill demonstrate our continued commitment to developing new revenue streams and transforming our industry."
President and CEO, Fortress Paper Ltd.