Québec awarding US$4.6M to advanced biofuel project carried out jointly by BioÉnergie La Tuque, Neste, and the Council of the Atikamekw Nation
The Québec Government is awarding funding totaling CAD 5.943 million (US$4.55 million) to a non-profit organization Bioénergie La Tuque (BELT) under a program called Technoclimat from Transition Énergétique Québec (TEQ) for a project to develop and demonstrate the potential of producing advanced biofuels from locally-sourced forestry waste in La Tuque, Quebec, Canada.
The funding will be used to continue project development and plant design, which are key enablers for making further decisions regarding the potential of building a renewable fuels plant in the area.
BELT, the Council of the Atikamekw Nation (CNA), and Neste, the world’s leading renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel provider, have been collaborating on the project since 2017. The partners have been jointly assessing the feasibility of utilizing sustainably-sourced forest-based biomass, particularly harvesting residues—such as branches and tops that are not suitable for sale—in the production of advanced sustainable biofuels. Once in place, this biorefinery could produce advanced renewable biofuels based on forest logging residues from Haute-Mauricie region in Québec.
The advanced biofuel will be fully compatible with existing infrastructure and therefore an excellent candidate for supporting the energy transition into the next decade. The project has the potential to reduce significantly the greenhouse gas emissions from Quebec’s transportation sector, allowing the province to reach significantly larger emission reductions than what is currently projected.
The project supports the development of Quebec's bioenergy sector and has the potential to have a positive impact on the local economy. This project can be seen as an important step forward in establishing the Province’s capabilities to produce sustainable biofuels. The demand for such fuels is likely to increase locally and across Canada as both the Québec provincial government and the federal government continue in their initiative to implement a low-carbon fuel standard. Demand for low-carbon, renewable fuels is also growing globally as businesses and cities around the world look for ways to meet their climate goals.
Importantly, Québec’s established forest product industry and commitment to sustainable forestry management means that the Province of Québec is well-positioned for biofuels production that converts forestry residues into renewable products. Leaving harvesting residues unutilized in the forests hinders forest regeneration process and thus slows down carbon sequestration. Removing part of it, while maintaining regeneration capacity of forest soils, supports Québec sustainable management of forests and maintains biodiversity.