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January 11, 2010
For immediate release

Ministers Tour Bio-energy Projects

Environment, Energy & Forestry

A recent ministerial tour of four privately-operated biomass facilities will give government valuable information on the potential and the challenges of using farm and forest products as an energy source, Environment, Energy and Forestry Minister Richard Brown says.

The fact-finding tour, which took place January 7, included Minister Brown, along with Innovation and Advanced Learning Minister Allan Campbell, Agriculture Minister George Webster and employees of their departments. Staff from the Department of Transportation and Public Works also took part in the tour.

“This province is interested in seeing whether biomass – from agriculture or forestry – can be a valuable energy resource. But we are also interested in seeing whether this resource can be developed in an environmentally responsible manner,” said Minister Brown.

“By seeing facilities in operation, by looking at the emissions from biomass projects and by looking at the sustainability of biomass fuel supplies, we can make informed decisions about how and if these kinds of projects should be pursued on Prince Edward Island.”

Agriculture Minister George Webster said, “The use of agricultural products as an energy source will provide new and exciting market opportunities for producers. As a department, we are committed to exploring projects that provide real benefits for the industry and for Islanders.”

The tour included stops at North Winds Inn and Suites, Artz Farm, Vanco Farms and Royalty Hardwoods. The featured systems included both imported burner and Island-developed systems that burned fuels including grains, straw, wood shavings and sawdust.

“It is important to find out what technology is available in the marketplace,” said Allan Campbell, Minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning and the Minister responsible for Innovation PEI. “Alternative energy is presenting new opportunities for the global manufacturing sector and by participating in fact-finding tours in our own province, we will be in a better position to develop a strategy to compete and create new jobs. This complements our vision to diversify and strengthen the Island economy.”

Media Contact: Ron Ryder
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