Feb. 25, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government has issued a request for proposals (RFP) from parties interested in gaining access to biomass material from Crown forests, Natural Resources Minister Wally Stiles announced today.
"Industry has expressed a great deal of interest in acquiring access to forest biomass for green energy projects," said Stiles. "Our government is pleased to encourage initiatives that help reduce our dependency on fossil fuels while reducing energy costs for our forest products sector."
Forest biomass, used in the creation of bioenergy, consists of the parts of a tree not traditionally used by the forest industry, such as branches, tops and foliage.
"The Department of Natural Resources has developed a Crown land forest biomass harvesting policy, and in collaboration with the University of New Brunswick we have developed the assessment tools necessary to ensure that biomass material is harvested from New Brunswick's Crown forests in a sustainable manner," said Stiles. "We look forward to seeing the development of this new forest resource and the benefits it will reap for our province's bioenergy sector."
Individuals, corporations or other provincial bodies with existing or proposed New Brunswick-based processing facilities are eligible to apply.
An estimated 550,000 oven-dry metric tonnes of biomass material will be available for allocation. Biomass availability is linked to harvest activity. The volume of material available in any given year will depend on the amount of wood harvested that year.
Applicants must identify their interest and submit comprehensive business and industrial plans for their proposed use of the material. Details regarding the required elements of a proposal are outlined in the RFP document available online.
Submissions must be received by 4:30 p.m. on April 17, 2009. All submissions will be evaluated by the Department of Natural Resources. The length of the review period will be determined based on the number of submissions and their complexity, but the intent is to award access by summer.
MEDIA CONTACT: Chrystiane Mallaley, communications, Department of Natural Resources, 506 453-2635, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.