MLTC BioEnergy Spotlight on Sask Business Minute

Meadow Lake Tribal Council is building a biomass power generation plant at their NorSask sawmill in Meadow Lake. To be completed in January 2022, the plant will convert wood waste into renewable energy and help to create jobs and economic growth for MLTC members and northern Saskatchewan.

MLTC BioEnergy Centre July Newsletter!

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MLTC BioEnergy Centre June Newsletter!

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Bioenergy works with Chris Mazuren: MLTC Employment Services Officer

Used with Permission of Northern Pride Publications

“My job,” says Chris Mazuren, “Is to ensure the community
members within the nine Meadow Lake First Nations
have an opportunity to find employment with the
construction contractors during the building of the MLTC
Bioenergy Centre.”
“I meet the contractors to get an understanding of what
it is they’re looking for in a potential employee,” he says.
“Based on that, I send out a call for résumés. Work-ready
individuals contact me and then I make the link – I make it
happen between the two.”
Mazuren says the goal is to
attract as many résumés as possible.
”I’m interested in hearing from
labourers, skilled labour, tradespeople
or apprentices,” he adds.
The MLTC Employment and
Training Facebook page, will
have the latest job opportunities
“I go through the résumés and
shortlist them. The contractor
looks at the list I have complied for them, then it’s job
interview time,” he says.
Mazuren says he looks for applicants who have some
past experience and their safety tickets needed for the
particular job.
“For example,” Mazuren adds, “When I posted the most
recent job opportunity I was looking for individuals who
have experience in concrete construction.”
Within minutes, Mazuren had résumés emailed to him
from all nine First Nations bands.
“From the best résumés, I recommend those as potential
employees,” he adds.
Mazuren notes a good candidate has a good support
network that includes family, friends and employment
office support from their First Nation.
Because of his 28-year work history in the various fields
of the construction industry, Mazuren has become familiar
with a lot of the contractors looking for workers.
“The construction field is a small world,” he says, adding
he also personally knows a lot of them.
Mazuren explains MLTC Employment and Training is
better than a job placement agency in that his team totally
understands the industrial needs of each contractor.
What Mazuren likes about finding band members from
the nine First Nations is the chance to help MLTC community
members get their foot in the door.
Each phase of construction of the MLTC Bioenergy Centre
has different time periods. Different tradespeople are
required at different times.
“Right now it’s concrete, then, in a while, it’s about 10
months of building,” Mazuren says. “There’s four major
components in the build, and we’ll need about 20 different
contractors. All those contractors need employees
and we want to get as many of our First Nations involved.”
Mazuren reminds potential employees to keep checking
the MLTC Employment and Training Facebook page.

Article by Howie Summers, MLTC Communications Officer

MLTC Bioenergy Centre construction underway

Used with Permission Northern Pride Publications

A notable accomplishment for MLTC in
2019-20 includes the announcement of a 25-
year power purchase agreement for up to 6.6
megawatts of base load electricity to power
approximately 5,000 homes.
Construction on the MLTC Bioenergy Centre,
currently being constructed next to NorSask
Forest Products, began April 27.
When it’s completed, MLTC Bioenergy
Centre will provide economic support to the
nine Meadow Lake First Nations within the
Meadow Lake Tribal Council. Dividends and
revenue will flow directly to them supporting
their core programs and services (health,
education, housing, recreational projects and
cultural activities).
Construction of the facility began amid the
COVID-19 pandemic and there will be future
job opportunities.
“We moved forward even with the pandemic
going on,” states MLTC Tribal Chief Richard
SaskPower and the MLTC signed a power
purchase agreement in the spring of 2019
and it’s the first of its kind in the province. The
objective of MLTC’s bioenergy project is to
generate carbon-neutral green power using
sawmill biomass residuals and to reduce air
emissions by eliminating one of Canada’s last
remaining beehive burners at NorSask.
In order to address provincial environmental
regulations, and contribute to Saskatchewan’s
green energy mandate, two lumber kilns at
the plant will be converted to biomass heating
for further carbon emission reductions.
“The MLTC Bioenergy Centre will create
energy by using the same sawmill waste that
is currently burned in the beehive burner,”
project manager John Hamstra says.
Over the course of 25 years, the MLTC Bioenergy
Centre is expected to decrease greenhouse
gases emissions by one million tonnes.
“We’re expecting completion of the construction
by fall 2021,” Al Balisky, President
and CEO of NorSask Forest Products, adds.
He notes contractors can visit the easy to
follow request for proposals on the www. website.
“The website is very informative and I am
sure everyone can see this is a very exciting
project,” Balisky adds.
When one visits the www.mltcbioenenergy.
ca website, they are able to see its current status,
the timeline of its build and a 3D image of
what it will look like.
By the time employees are trained to operate
it and bring it online, it will be October
Balisky says MLTC will also sell carbon neutral
energy to the SaskPower grid to further
stabilize their grid in the North.
By this Christmas there will be a 100-foot
steel structure – a clean energy monolith in
the distance.
MLTC vice-chief Richard Derocher is excited
about MLTC’s newest venture and excited
about it’s completion in 2021.
“I think the membership of the Meadow
Lake Tribal Council should be very proud of
what is happening with the MLTC Bioenergy
Centre,” he states.
It is Canada’s only 100 per cent Indigenous owned
sawmill converting a waste stream
into valuable energy. The ultimate recipients
of the financial benefits of the power plant
will be the Indigenous youth and families of
the Meadow Lake Tribal Council located in
northwest Saskatchewan.

Article by Howie Summers, MLTC Communications Officer

Construction underway at the Meadow Lake Tribal Council Bioenergy Centre

Residents in Meadow Lake can expect cleaner air and more jobs in the near future as the Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC) Bioenergy Centre at NorSask Forest Products is underway. SaskPower and the MLTC signed a power purchase agreement which was announced last fall.

Over the last year, SaskPower invested $696 million into the provincial electricity system. Notable accomplishments for 2019-20 include the announcement of a 25-year power purchase agreement with Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC) for up to 8-MW of biomass-generated electricity from a facility adjacent to the NorSask Sawmill just outside of the city.

MLTC Tribal Chief Richard Ben told meadowlakeNOW nine first nations will own 100 per cent stake in the biomass centre allowing dividends and revenue to be secured by the bands for recreational projects and cultural activities. Construction of the facility began in April amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “We still wanted to move forward despite the pandemic and construction is happening right now,” Chief Ben said. “The beehive is going to be gone so you won’t see that billowing cloud of smoke any more.”

Joel Cherry, spokesperson for SaskPower told meadowlakeNOW the MLTC Bioenergy Centre will be the first of its kind in the province and is expected to create enough green energy to power 5,000 homes in the province. The plant creates energy by using the same sawmill waste that is currently burned in the beehive burner. “This is significant because burning residuals from the saw mill, whether that’s bark, sawdust [etc.] , will be beneficial because it’s a lower carbon source of electricity and for people in the area, it will also improve air quality because less of those residuals are going into the atmosphere,” Cherry said. Cherry explained SaskPower is working to reduce emissions with a target of greenhouse gas emissions reduced 40 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and by adding generation sources such as Biomass sources along with wind, solar and geothermal methods are ways to reduce emissions. “Over the course of 25 years, the [NorSask] facility is expected to decrease greenhouse gases emissions by one million tons,” Cherry said.

President and CEO of NorSask Forest Products, Al Balisky told meadowlakeNOW construction is underway for the replacement of the beehive to a cleaner facility. “We’re well on our way with construction,” he said. “Expected completion is by late 2021.” Balisky said NorSask will sell carbon neutral energy to the SaskPower grid to further stabilize their grid in the North.

MHI’s Turboden to Provide Sustainable Power to Indigenous First Nations in Saskatchewan, Canada

  • 8,000 kW Project enhances environmental and economic sustainability of community thanks to carbon-neutral heat and power generation with woody biomass fuel
  • System to power 5,000 homes and significantly improve air quality


Tokyo, February 10, 2020 – Turboden S.p.A, a group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) based in Brescia, Italy, has concluded a contract to provide the Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC), representing nine Indigenous First Nations in Saskatchewan, Canada, with a 8,000 kW Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) power generation system that uses sawmill residual woody biomass as fuel.

The carbon-neutral power project, operating under the name of the MLTC Bioenergy Centre, will be located near Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan within the traditional territory of the nine First Nations of the Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC). The green power generation facility, with major equipment supplied by Turboden, is a project of the Meadow Lake Tribal Council, supported with funding from the Government of Canada. The facility will produce electricity from an ORC system(Note) utilizing Turboden’s technology, with biomass fuel derived from residual wood waste from the adjacent, MLTC-owned NorSask Forest Products LP (NorSask) sawmill as heating fuel. The system is expected to produce 6,600kW (net) of carbon neutral baseload electricity to power approximately 5,000 homes. The project is expected to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by more than one million tonnes over 25 years (equivalent to CO2 emission of more than 50,000 vehicles per year), as well as significantly reduce smoke and other harmful particulate matter, improving the local air quality conditions. In addition to the generated electricity, the cogeneration system design provides process heat to the NorSask sawmill buildings as well as new high efficiency lumber dry kiln, which will reduce natural gas consumption and also improve the economics of Canada’s largest 100% Indigenous-owned sawmill facility.

Turboden was founded in 1980 by professors from Polytechnic University of Milan, and has been focused on the use of ORC power generation systems. The company became part of MHI Group in 2013. In 2016, Turboden signed a contract with general machinery trading company Daiichi Jitugyo making the firm its sales distributor in Japan.

In October 2019, Turboden’s 995 kW ORC cycle power generation system was adopted for a project in Nankan-machi (Kumamoto Prefecture) using bamboo biomass, as the primary fuel, which had been considered difficult to process in Japan. As the first such initiative in Japan, the project is supported by Japan’s national research and development agency, the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), which is seeking to promote the introduction of biomass energy.

MHI Group will exhibit at the “The 10th International Smart Grid Expo” to be held at Tokyo Big Sight from February 26, 2020. MHI Group’s “NEXT ENERGY” booth will also include an introduction to Turboden’s ORC power generation system.

MHI, as a global corporation that provides wide-ranging and highly efficient power generation and energy systems, will work closely with Turboden to continue the successful adoption of binary cycle power generation systems globally, contributing to a more sustainable energy mix.

Turboden’s binary cycle power generation system has as its core component an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) turbine, which uses as the boiling medium organic material with a low boiling point, such as a fluorocarbon or hydrocarbon-based material. This permits the use of relatively low-temperature heat sources such as biomass, factory waste heat, and geothermal energy. The system can generate up to 40,000kW of electricity, and can be easily installed in non-fuel producing regions or areas lacking water resources, such as inland areas, deserts, and islands. It is also able to provide stable power generation without being subject to the weather or other factors.

Source: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries