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Whitesand First Nation gets funds for industrial park, biomass project

The new project will create employment and reduce the community’s reliance on diesel fuel.
Whitesand First Nation is located about 250 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay. (Whitesand photo)

Whitesand First Nation has received $3.76 million in government funding to move forward the construction of an industrial park, which will support the operation of a biomass plant and wood-processing facilities.

Located about 250 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, Whitesand First Nation has been working on the biomass project for a number of years. Once complete, the project is expected to bring significant change to the community, helping to create employment, reduce the community’s reliance on diesel fuel, and attract new business to the community.

Of the funding announced, the federal government is contributing $2.81 million, while the province of Ontario is contributing $949,539.

The first tenants of the industrial park will be the community-owned and operated Sagatay Cogeneration LP and Sagatay Wood Pellets LP.

Under Sagatay, Whitesand First Nation has negotiated a 20-year renewable agreement for electrical generation to ensure a guaranteed revenue stream and the sustainability of the industrial park project.

The new park, offering fully serviced land for lease, will be located on Highway 527, approximately one kilometre south of the Town of Armstrong.

In a news release, the chief and council of Whitesand said it was happy to finally see the project move forward.

“The industrial park will be known as the Bio-Energy Centre and will provide a home for our biomass co-generation facility, wood pellet plant and wood merchandising yard,” the statement said.

“Whitesand First Nation will capitalize on the new low carbon economy to create meaningful employment, while respecting the environment and providing clean, renewable power.”