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$500K helping Timmins forestry company reduce reliance on natural gas

The Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry was in Timmins for the announcement
Jenny Millson of Millson Forestry Services talks to Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Graydon Smith at an announcement in Timmins on March 1, 2024.

A local business feeling the pinch of the carbon tax will be able to reduce its reliance on natural gas with seed money from the province. 

Millson Forestry Service is getting $500,600 to create a compost heat recovery system, which will allow the second-generation forestry company in Timmins to heat one of its buildings and sell some of the compost. 

The funding is one of 12 projects in the northeast getting a cut of $6.1 million through the third phase of the Ontario forest biomass program. Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Graydon Smith was in Timmins March 1)to make the announcement, which includes an additional $60 million for the program over the next three years. Timmins MPP and Minister of Mines George Pirie and Timmins Mayor Michelle Boileau also took part in the event held at Millson's.

Biomass uses under-used parts of wood and mill byproducts to generate energy. The projects announced this week, said Smith, are a "diverse range of research, innovation, and modernization initiatives that will help develop the potential of Ontario's forest biomass resources." 

Jenny Millson is excited about the new cash. 

“We are going to be setting up a compost heat recovery system. We generate some biomass from our firewood operation so we’ll be using the biomass to compost and in doing so with the heat recovery system be able to use the heat generated from the compost to heat one of our growing structures,” she said.

The project will reduce the operation's reliance on natural gas, extend its season in the greenhouse, and potentially allow them to sell the compost generated locally. 

The federal carbon tax has had a significant impact on Millson Forestry's operations, she said. 

"Anything we can do to reduce our natural gas usage is going to be helpful,” she said.