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2010/80 (a)

Backgrounder

A Year in Review: Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program Investments in Forest Industry Renewal and Environmental Performance


After one year, the Government of Canada’s Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program (PPGTP) is making a real difference in the renewal of the country’s pulp and paper sector by supporting smart investments that improve the environmental performance of mills and help position them at the forefront of the clean energy economy.

Since receiving its first project proposal in October 2009, the program has agreements to fund twenty-four projects worth over $345 million, and many more project proposals are being considered. PPGTP funding is enabling the industry to renew their operations through investments in modern technology and equipment.

Companies are seeing improvement in their energy efficiency, increasing renewable energy production from wood biomass and lowering their greenhouse gas emissions. As of October 1, 2010, PPGTP projects are expected to produce more than 1,290,000 megawatt hours per year (MWh/year) of renewable energy — enough to power around 108,000 homes — and will generate energy savings of over 306,000 MWh/year — enough electricity to power an additional 25,680 homes.

These projects are also expected to directly reduce GHG emissions by almost 163,000 tonnes per year (tonnes/year) and also have the potential to indirectly reduce GHG emissions by over 606,000 tonnes/year — equivalent to the level of emissions produced by nearly 200,000 cars.

The Government of Canada recognizes the vital role the forest sector plays as an economic engine in rural communities, a driver of innovation and key player in the growing bioeconomy.

Diversification of products is essential to the sector’s continued evolution and future success. As newsprint and other traditional paper markets continue to shrink, there is a heightened need to find new and more efficient ways of using wood, wood fibre and its by-products.

That is why the Government has worked with industry, provincial governments and other key stakeholders to help position Canada's forest industry to thrive in a global bioeconomy where innovation and environmental performance are key.

A central part of the federal forest sector strategy, the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program is laying the groundwork for a greener and more sustainable forest sector — for today and for the future. The success of the program is complemented by strategic Government of Canada investments under the two-year Economic Action Plan that are supporting industry transformation now, including:

  • $100-million Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program: supports investments in new transformative technologies that have the potential to open new opportunities for Canada’s forest industry and forest communities.
  • $80-million Transformative Technologies Program: administered through FPInnovations, this initiative supports the development of the next generation of Canadian forest products, as well as the technologies and processes used to make them. The $40-million Pilot Scale Demonstration component of the program aims to develop pilot-scale demonstration projects of new products for use in commercial applications.
  • $50-million investment in the Canada Wood, Value to Wood, and North America Wood First programs to help the forestry industry increase markets for traditional and new, innovative products internationally and support large-scale demonstrations of the use of Canadian wood in construction.

How the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program Works

Thirty-eight pulp and paper mills across Canada, representing 24 companies, generated credits under the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program based on their 2009 production levels of black liquor, a liquid by-product of the pulping process used to generate heat and power. Qualified companies are required to submit project proposals for their facilities and have until March 31, 2012, to apply the credits to environmental improvement projects. The program is working with these companies as they prepare their project proposals, and projects undergo environmental assessments.

Under the terms of the program, eligible firms can invest the credits generated at one mill in any of their pulp and paper facilities across Canada. This program does not limit funding recipients from seeking grants from provincial, municipal or other funding sources to help ensure they meet their environmental stewardship goals.

By investing in clean energy technologies, this program is helping the forest industry contribute to the growth of a domestic clean energy industry, creating and maintaining high-quality jobs for Canadians while helping to sustain our environment.

More details about the program and its eligibility requirements are available at http://cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/subsite/pulp-paper-green-transformation.


Richard Walker
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-996-2007

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-992-4447
media@nrcan-rncan.gc.ca

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media/index-eng.php.