Ontario, OPG accepting biomass use proposals

By Erin Voegele
Web exclusive posted Jan. 23, 2009, at 10:28 a.m. CST

The Canadian province of Ontario is looking for innovative ways to turn available wood from its Crown forests into new investment and jobs. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has issued a request for expressions of interest, giving companies the opportunity to outline their ideas on how to accomplish. Reponses will be accepted until March 3.

According to the ministry, the results from the responses will also help the province determine the volume of wood that could be utilized by such programs. Ontario's Crown forests are well managed, and the use of this wood will not affect their sustainability, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources stated. The forest biofiber from the Crown forests could be used to produce wood pellets to generate electricity or to manufacture renewable alternative fuels, such as cellulosic ethanol, or other bioproducts that can reduce the province's dependence on fossil fuels.

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources' potential wood supply competitive process could be initiated this spring, with a goal of identifying successful proponents who will receive conditional offers for wood supply this summer.

A conference call will be held Feb. 10 to discuss the program and answer questions from interested proponents. To learn more about the conference call and how to submit a proposal, visit the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Web site.

An additional request for expressions of interest has been issued by Ontario Power Generation. The OPG request is aimed at potential suppliers of biomass-related fuel and transportation services, and applies to those involved in the wood and non-food agricultural biomass sectors. The responses to this request will aid in OPG's development program to determine the commercial viability of replacing coal with biomass at existing coal-fueled generating stations.

Interested parties have until Feb. 26 to submit expressions of interest to OPG. For more information, visit the OPG Web site.