Governments of Canada and Quebec Support the Development of Cutting-Edge Wood Fibre Technology

MASSON-ANGERS, QC, Nov. 29, 2016 /CNW/ - Canada's forest sector is an important economic driver and employer: more than 200,000 Canadians work in this sector, including 9,500 Indigenous people. Investments that support innovation will help make Canada's forest industries greener, more competitive and able to continue to provide good jobs for Canadians in communities across the country.

The Governments of Canada and Quebec today announced that they will provide $12.5 million in funding to Papier Masson, in Masson-Angers (Gatineau), Quebec, to help the company introduce a new process — the first of its kind in North America — to produce wood fibre to be used in the production of wood-plastic composites. 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 in Masson-Angers, a municipality within the City of Gatineau.

As a result of this investment, the company's Gatineau mill will be able to produce 40 tonnes per day of densified wood fibre while reducing its energy consumption by 15 percent. This fibre will replace non-renewable polymers to make wood-plastic composites for diverse products such as interior car door panels.

The Government of Canada is providing $10 million and the Government of Quebec is providing $2.5 million for this project, which will help secure more than 110 local jobs and lead to the creation of new positions for mill operations. Funding is provided through Natural Resources Canada's Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program and Quebec's Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks.

Quotes

"The forest industry plays a central role in combatting climate change, driving innovation and creating economic opportunities for local and Indigenous communities. This project is an excellent example of innovation that will help address climate change while transforming and improving the competitiveness of our country's forest industry."

Jim Carr
Canada's Minister of Natural Resources

"Our government is proud to support initiatives such as the one proposed by White Birch for its plant in Masson, a unique and innovative new technology that is a first in North America. The new fibre that can be extracted by this process will significantly enable the company to replace fibreglass and polymers in various applications. This project will have positive impacts on the regional forestry stream, through the greater use of wood chips, as well as on the fight against climate change by replacing fossil products with products made from renewable resources. This funding ties directly into the initiatives of the Forum Innovation Bois."

Luc Blanchette
Quebec Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks

"This project is an important strategic investment that will help strengthen employment at Papier Masson, bringing positive benefits to the surrounding community".

Stéphane Deshaies
General Manager, Papier Masson WB L.P.

Associated Links

IFIT Program http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/forests/federal-programs/13139
Government of Quebec http://mffp.gouv.qc.ca/english/department/index.jsp

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SOURCE Natural Resources Canada

For further information: Media may contact: Alexandre Deslongchamps, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Natural Resources, 343-292-6837; Media Relations, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, 343-292-6100

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