'This new funding will help ensure that Canada has a pulp and paper sector that is both commercially and environmentally sustainable for years to come,' said Minister Raitt. 'By making a smart investment today, we are laying the ground work for a greener, more secure future for the pulp and paper sector and the people who work in it.'
The Green Transformation Program intends to provide funding of $0.16 per litre of black liquor, up to a maximum program total of $1 billion. Black liquor is a liquid by-product of the chemical pulping process used to generate renewable heat and power.
Eligible companies participating in the Green Transformation Program will be required to invest these funds over the next three years in capital expenditures that make improvements to energy efficiency or environmental performance on any pulp and paper mill in Canada, including mechanical mills.
'Every dollar made available through this program will benefit forest-based communities across Canada and provide them with a brighter future,' said Denis Lebel, Minister of State for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec.
In addition to its ongoing support of Canada’s forest sector, the Government of Canada is providing $170 million over two years under Canada’s Economic Action Plan to help companies develop new products and processes and capitalize on new market opportunities internationally.
The $1-billion Community Adjustment Fund and $1-billion Community Development Trust are helping to mitigate the short-term impacts of economic restructuring in communities hard hit by the recession.
To minimize the financial impact of the downturn on workers and the communities they live in, the Government is providing $200 million to extend work-sharing agreements over the next two years to a maximum of 52 weeks. This funding will help employers and employees avoid temporary layoffs while their industry recovers.
A critical element of green transformation refers to the production of heat, power and fuels from renewable sources such as forest biomass. Black liquor is a biomass by-product of the chemical pulping process that has long been used by pulp producers to generate energy for their mills.