«In 2020, the forest will be a major pillar of the Pontiac Economy through the innovation and diversification of its uses.»
Vision Pontiac 2020 Strategic Plan,
Developed in 2010 in partnership with citizens of Pontiac and local stakeholders.
While the pulp and paper industry in Quebec was facing major changes, and mills were closing down, the MRC Pontiac was embarking on a strategic planning process to redefine the socio-economic future of Pontiac.
Innovation and diversification of our forestry resource were among the strategies retained to relaunch the forest industry and our economy. They were the foundation upon which the Biomass Conversion Centre project was developed, a business proposal which, if successful, will make our forests valuable again and create sustainable jobs in Pontiac.
The Biomass Conversion Centre: Using the Whole Tree, From Heart to Bark
Because the demand for pulp and paper products made in Quebec has been in decline since 2008, the MRC Pontiac has conducted studies to determine the best business avenues for reviving our forest industry. The main objectives are to:
- Promote the transformation of our unused forest resource into products for emerging markets;
- Provide a quality log to companies in the wood processing sector, and consolidate fiber supply in the long-term.
A market study allowed us to identify derivatives of pulpwood, a low-grade wood formely used by our pulp and paper industry, and for which there are no longer any buyers. Products had to meet the following criteria:
- They should be value-added products;
- They had to be in demand in growth markets;
- The transformation technology must already be available.
The following two products meet these criteria and have great commercial potential:
- Glucose (C6 Sugar): the main component of in-demand biosourced products, glucose is an important consumer of pulpwood. Furthermore, the transformation technology is sufficiently mature.
- Energy Pellets: Pellets are in high demand, especially in Europe. Access to residues from the Fibre Processing Yard (FPY) would make pellet production profitable.
Energy production, lumber milling, and extractibles for pharmaceutical uses are other potential products for the BCC.
This flagship project has been in the works for two years. Studies thus far have confirmed the viability of a biomass conversion centre for the MRC Pontiac, which is at the heart of the province’s deciduous and mixed forests.
- Media Brief – 2017-01-24: MRC Pontiac Council Appoints Four Members to Fibre Pontiac
- Press Release – 2016-06-16: The Biomass Conversion Centre is Taking Shape
- Summary Document – Implementation of an Economic Development Strategy to Stimulate the Pontiac Economy
- Press Release – 2015-09-10: The BCC: A Key Project for Renewing the Pontiac Regional Economy
- 2015-10-28: CHIP Radio – Interview with MRC Pontiac GM, Rémi Bertrand (French)
- 2015-09-18: Daily Observer – New Biomass Conversion Centre For Pontiac County
- 2015-09-12: ici.radio-canada – Nouveau projet pour relancer l’économie du Pontiac (French)