The biomass facility in Fort Babine would potentially help reduce the carbon footprint of the community. (Black Press file photo)

The biomass facility in Fort Babine would potentially help reduce the carbon footprint of the community. (Black Press file photo)

Lake Babine Nation’s biomass project in Fort Babine takes off

A $779,000 funding from Natural Resource Canada provides the impetus

The preliminary work and construction on Lake Babine Nation’s (LBN) biomass plant has finally begun, with a boost from Natural Resource Canada’s $779,000 funding.

LBN announced the receipt of the funding in a summer 2019 Nedut’en Distl’is or a newsletter, and mentioned that the funding is for the construction of a “biomass facility in Fort Babine which will be a system that is to heat the school, clinic, water treatment plant and possibly other facilities that will be operated by the community of Fort Babine. The project will be a joint venture between LBN and Vision Quest Advisors with Mr. Jay Savage.”

The biomass plant project start was delayed when LBN’s grant requests were denied, including the one from Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) in 2017. The project was supposed to start and complete in 2017 itself, however, lack of sufficient funding forced LBN to shelve the project. Now with the Natural Resource Canada (NRCan) funding, the project is set to start with renewed force.

RELATED: Lake Babine Nation’s biomass project delayed

“We are hoping for the project to resume work in a week or two and hoping that the project would be done by October of this year,” said Project Manager Bernard Patrick, adding that the current delay has mainly been due to Covid.

The project would be implemented in stages where a beta testing of the biomass facility would help assess the necessity based on consumption data.

“This will be like the first stage of it where the system would be heating the buildings in that community which are the health plant, the water plant, administrative buildings, the schools and upon an assessment of the results of that, we would be branching off to houses in the next stage,” said Patrick.

The funding is part of Natural Resource Canada’s Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities (CERRC) program that will be awarding $220 million in funding over a period of six years starting 2018-2019 for several clean energy projects.

A spokesperson for Natural Resource Canada (NRCan) told Black Press that the CERRC program supported several diverse projects across Canada in a bid to reduce the reliance of rural and remote communities on diesel fuel for heat and power.

“The agreement between NRCan and Lake Babine Nation falls under the “BioHeat” stream and was signed January 10, 2020,” he said.

The NRCan representative also said that the project involved installation of proven biomass heating or combined heat and power technology to displace fossil fuel use and reduce GHG emissions in the community.

“The expected results include the displacement of fossil fuels and the reduction of GHG emissions,” he said adding that any further comment from NRCan would be premature as the project was still in its early stages, with an expected completion date of March 31, 2021.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

(Black Press file photo)
Charges laid against two suspects in pre-Christmas home invasion

An 88-year-old woman was hospitalized after being bear-sprayed in the face Dec. 18, 2020

Liam and Tyler Spaans, (L-R), are two of the current lifeguards at the Houston Leisure Facility. (Houston Leisure Services file photo)
Leisure facility anticipates need for lifeguards

Has been challenged in the past

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

Most Read