Canada Invests in Bioenergy in Quebec

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SHERBROOKE, QC, Sept. 8, 2020 - The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, on behalf of the Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a $4.5-million investment in CRB Innovations, a technology company based in Sherbrooke, Quebec, to support the eco-sustainable development of the forest sector.

The Quebec government also invested $2.5 million from the Wood Innovation Program, managed by the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, to support the Westbury company. Because the technology demonstration project will make it possible to develop new products in the bioenergy sector as well as bioproducts with a reduced carbon footprint, the Quebec government also granted an amount of $1.575 million under the Technoclimat Program, which promotes technological innovations in energy efficiency. This includes a five percent increase over the initial assistance granted. This additional fund is one of the various improvement measures put forward by Transition énergétique Québec to help Quebec companies resume their activities.

CRB Innovations is developing a commercial pilot project to convert forestry residuals and other biomass sources into intermediate products that will be converted into biofuels and co-bioproducts (e.g., plastics). This project is a first of its kind for Canada's bio-refineries.

This initiative will help further the eco-sustainable development of the forestry sector, with improved energy efficiency and significant reductions in GHG emissions.

The project is funded through Natural Resources Canada's Clean Growth Program, which invests in clean technology research and development projects in Canada's energy, mining and forest sectors. The program is a $155-million investment fund that helps emerging clean technologies further reduce their impacts on air, land and water while enhancing competitiveness and creating jobs.

The Clean Growth Program also provided support to CRB Innovations for the capacity to collaborate with CanmetENERGY–Ottawa to convert CRB Innovations' mid-products to drop-in biofuels for transportation applications. This investment was made through the program's Science and Technology Assistance for Cleantech (STAC) initiative, which provides federal laboratory support for innovators, intended to help bring Canadian clean technologies to market by providing federal research expertise, facilities and equipment.

The Government of Canada and Quebec are committed to innovation and building a clean energy future to strengthen the economy, create good jobs and support the natural resource sectors. This commitment will be more important than ever as we begin to reopen the economy and plan our recovery.

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"The government continues to pursue investments that use Canada's resources to enhance economic competitiveness and create jobs while protecting our environment. Investing in bioenergy in the forest sector and in CRB Innovations' technology supports our climate change goals and helps advance our clean energy future."

The Honourable Seamus O'Regan
Canada's Minister of Natural Resources

"Our government is seriously committed to meeting our environmental targets. The biochemical products that convert bioplastics into biofuels are increasingly in demand, and for that reason, I am pleased to announce that the Government of Canada is investing in CRB Innovations — a company that continues to make breakthroughs that are focused on ecological transition and the sustainable management of our natural resources."

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau 
Member of Parliament for Compton‒Stanstead and Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

"By using our renewable forest resource, this CRB Innovations' project will help Quebec make the transition to a low-carbon economy by replacing fossil carbon with biogenic or recycled carbon. In this sense, Quebec has a particular advantage on a global scale. The abundance of the forest resource at our disposal and the shift toward innovation that our forest industry is undertaking make Quebec a privileged player in order to position itself in the economy of the future. The Mégantic riding is therefore a cradle for this new type of energy."

François Jacques
Member of Parliament for Mégantic

"The support of the Clean Growth Program is decisive for implementing the innovative and disruptive biomass fractionation catalytic technology being developed by CRB. It is such technology that produces the intermediates that are subsequently converted into defined and marketable bio-based products by the partners, thus enhancing societal sustainability, wealth and opportunities for present and future generations. The support of the Clean Growth Program, including its STAC component, has triggered the interest of two Quebec government programs, now committed to the project led by CRB."

Esteban Chornet, Ph.D. 
Scientific Director, CRB Innovations


Associated Links
Clean Growth Program 
Science and Technology Assistance for Cleantech  
Scaling Up First Hub & Spoke Lignocellulosic Biofuels Commercial Pilot


Source: Natural Resources Canada