Canadian Manufacturing

Federal government invests $4.9M in wood biomass-to-renewable-energy facility

by CM Staff   

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CHAR's Thorold facility will demonstrate a solution for converting underutilized woody biomass into bioproducts including biocarbon and renewable natural gas (RNG).

THOROLD — On Dec. 13, Vance Badaway, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services and Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre, announced a federal investment of $4.9 million for CHAR Technologies Thorold Inc. (CHAR) for a woody-biomass-to-renewable-energy facility in Thorold, Ontario. This amount is in addition to $1.5 million provided by FederalDev Ontario, bringing the total current federal investment for this project to $6.4 million.

CHAR’s Thorold facility will demonstrate a solution for converting underutilized woody biomass into bioproducts including biocarbon and renewable natural gas (RNG), which may be used to produce hydrogen in the near future. This will help to displace fossil fuel use for heavy emitters such as steel manufacturers, mining operations and pulp mills to support the decarbonization of Canadian industry.

Support for this project is delivered through Natural Resources Canada’s Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program, alongside FedDev Ontario’s Jobs and Growth Fund and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. In addition to the investment from CHAR, the total investment in this project is $27.5 million.

When commercially operational, the facility will divert 75,000 tonnes of woody biomass from being landfilled or burned to simultaneously produce 500,000 gigajoules of RNG and 10,000 tonnes of biocarbon per year.

By providing alternate fuels and diverting mill byproducts from the landfill or burn sites, this project will result in a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 60,000 tonnes per year, the equivalent of over 18,000 passenger vehicles off the road.

“Congratulations to CHAR Technologies on the development of a novel facility that will help to reduce emissions while creating jobs for Canadians. This facility will help displace fossil fuel combustion while diverting wood waste from being burned or landfilled. This will reduce carbon and methane emissions while contributing to Canada’s ambitious climate goals. The Government of Canada is pleased to support this important work,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources.

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