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Ontario turns trees to fuel


August 16, 2008
By Pulp & Paper Canada

A plan to move away from fossil fuels could provide Ontario’s forestry sector with a much needed boost.

A plan to move away from fossil fuels could provide Ontario’s forestry sector with a much needed boost.

According to a recent report by Canadian Press, the province is launching a five-year biofibre policy that will turn remaining tree tops, branches and other unusable parts of the tree into energy.

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The plan is targeted at a pallet wood sawmill and a co-generation facility in Harcourt, the report confirmed. These projects are being financed through a $1.56 million grant and a loan guarantee of $2.4 million.

Backers of the policy are hoping the plan will dually reduce reliance on fossil fuels while fostering economic development in northern Ontario.

“The stuff that’s left behind now is being used, it’s a residual that before was simply wasted,” Canadian Press reported Minister of Natural Resources Donna Cansfield as saying. “We recognized there was an opportunity in using them for biofuel, so we developed a biofibre policy whereby we would be able to look at that… from a fuel perspective.”

Not everyone is enthusiastic about the plan, however. As Canadian Press noted, some environmentalists have expressed concern the policy will encourage the unnecessary destruction of trees in order to support the province’s economy.


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