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

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