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Government of Quebec gives support to biofuel project

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The Quebec Government has awarded funding totalling CAN$5.943 million (approximately €3.85 million, US$4.55 million) to a non-profit organisation Bioénergie La Tuque (BELT) under a programme called Technoclimat from Transition Énergétique Québec (TEQ) for a project to develop and demonstrate the potential of producing advanced biofuels from locally-sourced forestry waste in La Tuque, Quebec, Canada.

The funding will be used to continue project development and plant design, which are key enablers for making further decisions regarding the potential of building a renewable fuels plant in the area.

BELT, the Council of the Atikamekw Nation (CNA), and Neste have been collaborating on the project since 2017. The partners have been jointly assessing the feasibility of utilising sustainably-sourced forest-based biomass, particularly harvesting residues – such as branches and tops that are not suitable for sale – in the production of advanced sustainable biofuels. Once in place, this biorefinery could produce advanced renewable biofuels based on forest logging residues from Haute-Mauricie region in Quebec.

“The region developed around logging, yet at the moment residues from this industry are rotting in the woods. In a coherent energy transition towards a greener economy, projects that make it possible to recover what is currently considered to be waste is aligned with Atikamekw's values of improving the use of the territory’s resources. These are not perfect industries, but by acting wisely, we can combine economic, social and environmental development, “said Constant Awashish, Grand Chief of the Atikamekw Nation.

“Our biorefinery project is a great example of regional and international collaboration, with several local players including the Council of the Atikamekw Nation, the Coopérative Forestière du Haut-St. Maurice, the Forest School of La Tuque, FPInnovations and UQTR, and our partner Neste, the world's leading producer of renewable fuels and the third most sustainable company in the world. The project will significantly contribute to the economic development of our local communities and to the reduction of GHGs for Quebec’s transportation sector. We would like to warmly thank the Government of Quebec which, through this significant financial participation in the pre-commercial phase of the project, shows its support and trust in our vision”, declared Patrice Bergeron president of BELT.

“Neste is very grateful for the funding provided by the Quebec Government, demonstrating the government’s strong support for our aim of bringing new volumes of sustainable lower-emission fuels from locally-sourced raw materials to the market. Additional biofuel volumes are crucial for replacing fossil fuel use, making a positive impact towards reaching local and global emission reduction targets,” said Lars Peter Lindfors, Senior Vice President, Innovation at Neste. “Our long-term collaboration with BELT is a great example of the many initiatives Neste is engaging in to further increase the company’s positive impact on fighting climate change on a global level.”

“The La Tuque Bioenergy project has the immense potential to pave the way for the establishment of the first biorefinery to produce renewable fuels from residual forest biomass. This technological demonstration is in line with the planned energy transition for Quebec and is part of our vision of a lower-carbon economy. Together, we can join forces for a sustainable energy future,” said Jonatan Julien, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region.

“We have to be ambitious and smart to achieve social, economic and environmental success. Through the development of projects like this the transition to a better future can be made,” concluded Awashish.

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North America downstream news Biofuel news