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Province Supports Testing Of Innovative Wood Product In Kakabeka Falls

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Province Supports Testing Of Innovative Wood Product In Kakabeka Falls

New Technology Could Help Tap New Markets For Undervalued Lumber

THUNDER BAY - The Ontario government is helping a Northern Ontario wood products manufacturer develop and test new kiln technology that could lead to the introduction of new wood products as well as opportunities to market the technology itself, Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick Bartolucci announced today.

"We are pleased to be investing in such an innovative initiative that is brimming with potential for the northwest," said Thunder Bay-Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro. "This is another example of a value added forest industry enterprise helping to diversify our economy."

The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) is providing $258,000 to Superior Thermowood in Kakabeka Falls to help develop and test the process of drying undervalued types of raw lumber to make them more commercially marketable. The strength and durability of the dried thermowood lumber will be tested at Lakehead University to establish a drying process that will yield marketable results from a variety of wood species. Superior Thermowood will also make modifications to a high-temperature wood-drying kiln, which will be patented and marketed as part of the development process.

"Our government has been steadfast in supporting northern businesses as they explore new approaches to maximizing the use of our bountiful natural resources," said Bartolucci, who is also chair of the NOHFC. "By helping northern companies develop new technologies, we are laying a foundation for future investment and increased prosperity in the North."

Other McGuinty government initiatives in support of northern prosperity include:

  • Providing $102,500 to the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission to launch a three-year company-to-company matchmaking program for goods and services suppliers seeking business opportunities among Alberta's oil sands developers
  • Providing $75,000 toward restructuring and rebranding of the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre, to tap into the new trends and opportunities of the modern marketplace  Providing $1,702,000 to complete the first phase the Thunder Bay and Region Protective and Emergency Services Training Centre project.

These initiatives are part of the government's Northern Prosperity Plan. It has four pillars: Strengthening the North and its Communities; Listening to and Serving Northerners Better; Competing Globally; and Providing Opportunities for All.

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