Nov. 9, 2009
SAINT-QUENTIN (CNB) - The federal and provincial governments are making a $7-million investment in Groupe Savoie, Premier Shawn Graham and Senator Percy Mockler announced today in Saint-Quentin. The investment will permit the hardwood processing company to diversify its operations and markets by establishing a wood pellet and briquette manufacturing plant.
"Our government will seize every opportunity to create and maintain jobs for New Brunswickers," said Graham. "Strategic investments such as these, coupled with our plan for lower taxes and the lower rates that would occur under our new proposed energy agreement with Hydro-Québec, will make us more competitive and ensure that more New Brunswickers are employed."
The Province of New Brunswick is providing $5 million toward the $11 million project through a non-repayable contribution and a loan.
"The Government of Canada, through the Economic Action Plan, is taking steps to stimulate the economy, create jobs and support communities hardest hit by the global economic downturn," said Mockler. "Our investment of $2 million through the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF) will allow Groupe Savoie to provide important construction employment opportunities and help maintain more than 500 jobs in the forestry sector, while creating an additional 17 full-time jobs and acquiring new technology for the company."
Mockler attended on behalf of Keith Ashfield, minister of state for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).
The funding will allow Groupe Savoie to purchase and install equipment, and provide training for a wood pellet and briquette manufacturing plant that it will build next to its existing hardwood operations in Saint-Quentin. Groupe Savoie's existing operations will supply the sawdust, shavings, bark and chips needed to manufacture the wood pellets and briquettes, and allow them to produce an estimated 50,000 tons of pellets and 8,000 tons of briquettes. Export sales are expected to reach more than $9 million.
"We are very pleased that the two levels of government have confidence in us and are willing to put in the hard yards to enable us to ensure business continuity at Groupe Savoie Inc.," said Jean-Claude Savoie, president of Groupe Savoie. "Investing in this green energy project, the products of which will initially be mostly exported to Europe, will help make our beautiful province greener. One day, in what I hope is the not too distant future, these granules will be used as a source of energy, and will replace heating oil on this side of the Atlantic. We have shifted toward value-added products for years now, and this is another good example."
The Government of Canada, through ACOA, is contributing $2 million toward the project under CAF. Canada's Economic Action Plan provided a total of $1 billion over two years for CAF to support initiatives which help create and maintain jobs in communities affected by the economic downturn. Atlantic Canada's allocation of $100 million under CAF is administered by ACOA.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Marie-Andrée Bolduc, press secretary, Office of the Premier, 506-453-2144; Bruce Macfarlane, corporate secretary, Regional Development Corporation, 506-444-4606; Erin Filliter, director of communications Office of the Minister of State for ACOA, 613-941-7241; Ted Parisé, senior communications officer, ACOA New Brunswick, 506-452-3917.