CAMPBELL’S BAY – Members of the MRC Pontiac held a press conference in their new building, June 16, where Warden Raymond Durocher, Project Manager Pierre Vezina and Assistant Director General Bernard Roy reported on the Biomass Conversion Centre’s (BCC) progress and stressed its growing relevance to Quebec’s current political, economic, and environmental priorities.
A group of investors and a potential promoter to operate the BCC have shown interest in the project and want to join the MRC in studying it. “When we first started discussing this project, we were on shaky ground, but we’re now on a solid foundation and we’re moving forward. We’re not rushing into it, but we are definitely going ahead,” stressed Durocher, noting that future discussions with the interested parties will determine the project’s timeline.
In addition to these discussions, the MRC and BCC Committee will continue promoting the project, asking for the required political and economic
commitments, and finding commercial support needed to start the operation.
The Committee will also select the best technology for the BCC’s biorefining unit in the next few months; there are five potential units to choose from. The biorefinery will be the first unit implemented and will produce glucose and xylose type sugars and lignin which are increasing in demand.
Other production units include: a fibre processing yard to prepare logs based
on their quality and intended use; a cogeneration unit to produce steam and energy to power the self-sufficient BCC; a bark extraction unit to extract fibres used to manufacture value-added products such as pharmaceutical, cosmetic and
nutritional products; and an energy pellet production unit.
The BCC is the first major initiative to come out of the Vision 2020 Strategic Plan aimed at restarting the Pontiac’s economy. “The BCC fits the government’s economic perspective which values innovation and sustainable development, and it contributes to the objectives of the new 2030 Energy Policy which depends on biomass energy production to reduce greenhouse gases,” said the MRC in a press release.
Vision 2020 also highlights industry and forestry development, which is in keeping with the BCC given that the forestry industry “has been at the heart of the region’s socioeconomic profile and at the core of our strengths for centuries”. “The ultimate goal is to create jobs and make our region strong and competitive again,” stressed Durocher.