Agreements have been signed to launch a $26 million Gitxsan energy project.
The announcement was made at the International Bio-Energy Conference in Prince George last week.
Gitxsan Bio-Energy is intending to build a bio-energy facility to produce white and torrefied black pellets in Carnaby.
The company is structured to be owned jointly by Suskwa and Gitsegukla First Nations and Korean investors.
This will be the first large scale commercial deployment of black pellets in B.C. destined for export markets.
The plant will be located on First Nations’ property adjacent to the CN Rail line, 216 km east of Prince Rupert.
The location was chosen partly because it is near the centre of Gitsegukla and Gitxsan fibre sources.
“It has been a long time coming. We’ve been working on it for about 12 years,” said Jack Sebastian, spokesperson for the Suskwa First Nation.
The two First Nations will operate the Morning Glory Sawmill and provide the necessary fibre for pellet production.
“It is going to boost the jobs for sure, it will employ about 150 people all together. It will also boost the economy for the whole area, maybe bring back some of the loggers. The unemployment rate is about 95 per cent in the Hazelton area,” Sebastian said.
“Gitsegukla First Nation fully supports the project and total investment ensuring that it meets all environmental assessment requirements,” said Cliff Sampare, Chief Councillor spokesperson for the Gitsegukla First Nation in a press release from Gitxsan Bio-Energy Ltd.
Global Bio-Coal Energy of Vancouver was chosen to supply their Wyssmont licensed/patented technology and construction management for the plant construction for the facility.
Construction is expected to start this summer and will take about nine months to complete.