Funds will help B.C. firms launch sustainable projects 

Trees not suitable for sawmills are transformed into custom specification oriented strand products. 

Photo By Deadwood Innovations

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Two forestry projects in B.C. are receiving funding to develop and advance value-added manufacturing in the province.

Funding from Natural Resources Canada’s Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program is helping B.C. companies develop ways to utilize  dead and damaged wood products by turning them into engineered wood products.

Jonathan Wilkinson, the Canadian Minister of Natural Resources, announced two contributions through the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program that support Canada's forest sector in becoming more economically competitive and environmentally sustainable through targeted investments in advanced technologies. 

The program is providing $1.14 million to Deadwood Innovations and the Nak'azdli Development Corporation (NDC) to build and optimize a pilot-scale facility deploying a process to manufacture value-added engineered wood products, as well as $4.25 million to Tolko Industries Ltd. (Tolko) to expand and diversify its production beyond commodity plywood products to include specialty, industrial and engineered wood products.

Deadwood Innovations, together with the Nak'azdli Development Corporation and in partnership with the Nak'azdli Whut'en First Nation, has established a pilot plant at the Tl'oh Forest Products mill in Fort St. James, B.C. The project provides an opportunity to develop products from underutilized fibre to support local economic diversification and job creation and to minimize wildfire risks. The joint venture is also currently working with the Government of British Columbia to commercialize these wood products through the provincial Indigenous Forest Bioeconomy Program.

Additionally, with the support of the IFIT program, Tolko aims to use innovative manufacturing equipment to produce new value-added wood products with environmental sustainability in mind. In addition to maximizing value from Tolko's operations, this project will also increase the availability of low-carbon building materials produced in Canada.

Both projects will open up new employment opportunities in the forest sector, provide economic development benefits to the local communities and advance innovative products and technologies that support the low-carbon economy.

"Canada's forest sector supports economic growth and thousands of jobs right across the country. Through initiatives such as the IFIT program and funding projects like those announced today, the Government of Canada is working collaboratively to advance innovative technologies that will make our forest sector more competitive and more sustainable through the utilization of dead or damaged wood fibre as well as hybrid wood products."

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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).