As Canada’s once lucrative traditional forestry sector struggles to find its footing in an industry in the midst of change, companies across the country and around the world are moving towards diversification and ingenuity to reinvigorate the sector.
This week, the provincial government of New Brunswick began holding meetings with the Canadian Manufacturer’s and Exporters energy group, among others, to examine the potential of biomass’ role in expanding the value-added capabilities of the province’s forestry sector.
“The role of wood fibre in terms of utilizing it for other purposes has gained an even higher profile, given the deliberations that the province has undertaken with regard to a new long term energy policy,” David Plante, the vice-president of the New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island wing of Canadian Manufacturer’s and Exporters energy group told the Telegraph-Journal this week.
Other groups in New Brunswick have also approached the provincial government touting the benefits of biomass. Mark Arsenault, the president and CEO of the New Brunswick Forest Products Association, said it’s just a matter of time before the province recognizes the potential of this alternative energy source.
“I think everyone will be interested in bio-refineries and future uses of wood fibre, and the logical way to approach this is to look at companies that are already manufacturing,” he said. “As the technology becomes more available, and as more companies are successfully putting together production plants, you’ll see more companies moving toward that.”
Some companies in New Brunswick already have, according to the Telegraph-Journal. Twin Rivers Paper Company, AV Cell Inc and Irving Pulp and Paper Ltd. all use their own biomass for energy at their own facilities.