June 18, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - A peat exploration licence has been awarded to FPM Peat Moss Co. Ltd., an Inkerman company that plans to create 100 new jobs in northern New Brunswick,.
The submission was one of four received following a public call for proposals for an exploration licence for 250 hectares of commercial Crown peatland on two sites in the Acadian Peninsula.
"The proposal submitted by FPM emphasized the value-added use of this natural resource and proposed significant infrastructure and equipment investments at the company's existing plant in Inkerman," said Transportation Minister Denis Landry. "The applicant's submission states that about 60 new jobs will be created in the peat processing and packaging facility operations and another 40 in peat production."
Landry spoke on behalf of Natural Resources Minister Wally Stiles.
Business New Brunswick worked with the Department of Natural Resources to evaluate the potential economic benefits that the project will bring to northern New Brunswick.
The exploration licence is for one year with the possibility of a one-time renewal. During this period, FPM must apply for a peat lease, provide detailed development plans, and complete an environmental impact assessment registration process with the Department of Environment. No site development can take place until this work is completed and a Crown lease is issued.
The two sites identified by FPM contain about 250 hectares of commercial peatland near the communities of Paquetville and Neguac.
"Ensuring that northern New Brunswick is competitive in promoting further exploration and development of our natural resources, including peat moss, is one of our goals under the Action Plan for Self-Sufficiency in Northern New Brunswick," said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault, who is also the minister responsible for the Northern New Brunswick Initiative.
Denis Mallet, general manager for FPM Peat Moss Co. Ltd., said the company plans to invest about $5 million in bog development and at its Inkerman plant over the next five years.
"By assuring us long-term access to peat resources, we are now able to move ahead with our plan to expand our processing and packaging facilities in Inkerman," Mallet said. "We will also be adding about 100 more employees to the 230 we have now."
FPM has a long history of peat mining in New Brunswick, having obtained its first peat lease in 1942. It is a division of Conrad Fafard Inc., a leading supplier of professional peat and peat-based growing mix products for horticultural industries and markets in North America and overseas.
New Brunswick's Peat Mining Policy emphasizes the use of Crown land peat reserves for value-added manufacturing.
"The proposal by FPM is exactly in keeping with our objective to use this natural resource to create the maximum number of jobs for New Brunswickers," said Landry. "Value-added developments such as this will help us achieve our goal of a self-sufficient New Brunswick."
MEDIA CONTACTS: Anne Bull Monteith, communications, Department of Natural Resources, 506-453-2614, email@example.com; Matt Jones, communications, Department of Natural Resources, 506-453-2614, firstname.lastname@example.org; Denis Mallet, general manager, FPM Peat Moss Co. Ltd., 506-336-9715.