Investment made in Lake Utopia energy efficiency project
By New Brunswick
The New Brunswick government announced that it is providing a $10.8-million repayable loan and a $500,000 grant to help J.D. Irving Ltd. improve the environmental performance of its Lake Utopia paper mill.
“We are proud to work with this important employer to improve its environment performance, help maintain 135 jobs in southwestern New Brunswick, and achieve our objectives under the New Brunswick Climate Change Action Plan,” said Rick Doucet, acting minister of Business New Brunswick. “This ensures the long-term viability of the mill and provides savings that the company can re-invest in its employees and the community.”
J.D. Irving Ltd. is installing a new biomass boiler that will be fuelled by wood waste from the company's forestry's operations in New Brunswick. The project will cost $32.9 million.
The boiler will provide enough steam to fulfil the energy needs of the mill, diminishing its dependence on fossil fuels to power its manufacturing operations and lowering its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 66,000 tonnes per year. The increase in renewable energy production from wood waste will displace the equivalent of 180,000 barrels of fossil fuel.
The federal government is contributing $22 million through its Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program; the provincial government is providing the remainder.
By reinforcing Lake Utopia Paper's environmental stewardship, said Jim Irving, president of J.D. Irving Ltd., the mill is able to meet market demands for sustainably manufactured pulp and paper products. He added that remaining commercially viable also allows J.D. Irving Ltd. to maintain jobs within the community.
“We appreciate the commitment of the federal and provincial governments to securing hundreds of well-paying forest sector jobs at this mill and in the woodlands that supply this site,” said Irving. “These investments in energy efficiency are good for business and the environment, and they are also providing more than 150,000 person-hours of work to more than 25 local contractors—almost $12 million in local New Brunswick purchases.”