Ontario biomass funding to support 14 projects

Ontario has announced the second phase of funding under its new Forest Biomass Program.

The $9.4 million investment will develop new and emerging uses of underutilized wood and mill by-products, known as forest biomass.

“Our Forest Biomass Program has delivered dozens of critical investments to launch the future of Ontario’s forest sector,” said Graydon Smith, minister of natural resources and forestry.

“Today’s investment continues that progress, with targeted funding that will create jobs, strengthen communities and redefine our forestry sector in Ontario.”

Forest biomass is used in everything from food additives to building materials. It also has many emerging uses, including renewable natural gas, bioplastics and hydrogen – responsible alternatives to carbon-intensive products.

The full list of the 14 initiatives is available here. Each project will advance the use of forest biomass, including:

  • Thunder Bay Pulp and Paper Mill – $5,000,000 to modernize the mill’s electrical system by upgrading and improving equipment, enabling it to expand green energy production, reduce emissions and increase forest biomass usage.
  • Rutter Urban Forestry – $245,000 to support renewable energy production and deliver clean and cost-efficient heat generation by acquiring a mobile forest biomass chipper and tractor to produce heating chips.
  • Lake Nipigon Forest Management Inc. – $200,000 to increase the use of forest biomass and expand alternative fuel production by supporting the development of a renewable natural gas and biocarbon facility.
  • FPInnovations – $100,000 to enhance forest sector business competitiveness and provide environmental benefits by exploring methods to improve the carbon footprint and reduce the operating costs of producing lignin, a versatile wood extract.

“The OFIA fully supports Ontario’s focus on developing markets for sustainable forest biomass. Northern, rural, and Indigenous communities across the province hold immense potential for economic growth through forest biomass energy and heating solutions,” said Ian Dunn, president and CEO, of the Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA.

“Ontario’s ambitious electrification and energy transition present a challenge, but we believe that forest biomass can be the key to filling the gap. With a forecast doubling of the existing grid, we can take a significant step towards a greener, more sustainable future by choosing forest biomass. Ontario’s Forest Biomass Program is essential in fostering a circular bioeconomy and improving the competitiveness of our sector.”

This is the second phase of Forest Biomass Program funding – the first phase was announced in December 2023. Through the program, Ontario is investing $19.6 million in projects to increase the use of the province’s forest resources while developing new technologies, improving productivity and providing environmental benefits.