Quebec Awards Funding to Advance Biofuel Production


The Quebec government has awarded funding, totaling approximately $4.55 million, to Bioénergie La Tuque (BELT) – under the Technoclimat from Transition Énergétique Québec (TEQ) program – for a project to develop and demonstrate the potential of producing advanced biofuels from locally sourced forestry waste in La Tuque, Quebec.

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, a 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 Quebec.

“Our biorefinery project is a great example of regional and international collaboration,” says Patrice Bergeron, president of BELT. “The project will significantly contribute to the economic development of our local communities and to the reduction of greenhouse gases in Quebec’s transportation sector. We would like to thank the government of Quebec which, through this significant financial participation in the pre-commercial phase of the project, shows its support and trust in our vision.”

The demand for such fuels is likely to increase locally and across Canada as both the Quebec 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.  

This biorefinery project is in line with the goals of the Quebec government towards a greener economy. 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 significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from Quebec’s transportation sector, allowing the province to reach significantly larger emission reductions than what is currently projected.

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