The lush green forests of New Brunswick are the envy of many who are surrounded by concrete walls in population-dense cities. However, a lot of our own residents may not even know exactly how rich of a commodity the abundance of woods in their own backyards produce. Enter forest biomass – the wood waste left as a result of strategic forest management and local sawmill processing. In being resourceful and taking that “waste” and turning it into value-added product, the wood pellet can be produced and thus, a source of clean energy is created. It is arguably New Brunswick’s greatest underutilized resource.
Wood pellets have become a highly sought-after product and are being used more and more for industrial heating purposes, replacing the outdated use of fossil fuels. Hundreds of thousands of pellets are exported out of the Port of Belledune annually, destined for overseas heating facilities. The UK understands this resource and has effectively reduced the use of fossil fuel drastically; as a result, also cutting carbon emissions.
The Belledune Port Authority (BPA) has worked to become the top biomass exporter in Eastern Canada since beginning to export wood pellets over a decade ago. The amount of laydown space available at the Port of Belledune and the excellent storage facilities directly on the terminals as well as top notch operations have clients increasing their supply of these products. In 2019, JD Irving Ltd. constructed a storage facility adjacent to Terminal 3 in collaboration with the Port’s stevedoring partner and terminal operator, QSL Canada Inc. Wood pellets are sensitive to the elements and this new facility is the third warehouse on the Port of Belledune’s terminals dedicated to storing the commodity. As growth continues necessary discussions are taking place to identify how to best support the local economy while meeting global demands.
The wood pellets in the new storage facility at the Port of Belledune are created from bi-products and leftover sawmill biomass materials at the JD Irving Sawmill located in Saint Leonard, New Brunswick. This facility is just one location that makes up the product supply exported overseas through the Port of Belledune. In being environmentally responsible, JD Irving Ltd. is taking the by-product of their operations, what would otherwise be thrown out, and capitalizing on other uses. Customers in Europe and other continents overseas continue to increase their purchasing, recognizing the environmental benefits of using wood pellets as fuel for energy production.
There continues to be growing interest locally around wood pellets and their ability to be a clean energy solution for the domestic market as well. The question is whether it is possible to utilize the provinces’ own supply of biomass while continuing to be profitable and successful in supplying customers overseas. In 2016, the provincial government of New Brunswick released their Climate Action Plan (CAP), including the lofty goal of eventually transitioning to a drastically carbon-reduced economy. An important part of CAP that will directly influence businesses around the region is the eventual phasing out of coal being used to produce energy. According to an article published in Canadian Biomass Magazine, the wood pellet sector in New Brunswick is “well positioned to help the government meet its climate commitments, to improve the provincial economy, and to create more jobs.” (Canadian Biomass Magazine, 2017). Benefits to adding wood pellets to heating methods include:
• growing employment and job creation;
• growing an industry based on using waste that is already being generated by the sawmill industry;
• using a cost-effective, reliable, and clean way to reduce pollution and meet CAP standards;
• ultimately reduced heating costs; and,
• reducing dependence on imports of oil and coal, which would keep money circulating in the province.
Although it remains to be seen how exactly the use of industrial wood pellets could benefit local industries and the environment, it is with certainty we know that wood pellets will continue to be needed internationally and demand will likely grow. To remain a top supplier of this renewable energy source, the key will always be to have smart, strategic, and sustainable forest management. As the BPA focuses on clean environmentally friendly projects, there is also a commitment to partner with organizations that have similar values. The BPA is proud to partner with JD Irving Ltd. because of their exemplary efforts to responsibly replace the wood supply used in its operations. Since beginning the tree planting program in 1957, over one billion trees of various species have been planted! They proudly hold the national record in Canada and continue with their commitment to always replace what is used. The trees planted act has natural air filters and absorb up to one tonne of carbon in a lifetime.
It is not something always at the forefront, but it is important to recognize the impact New Brunswick has overseas by making the most of its greatest natural resource. New Brunswick has significantly played a helping role in the world’s quest for cleaner energy and reducing worldwide carbon emission output. Even more, the province is poised to contribute even more through escalating wood pellet exports from the Port of Belledune and their suppliers. It is clear the greatest resource at the province’s disposal is one that resides in all our own backyards. What was once viewed as unusable trash has become a natural commodity which is in demand. Our supply to the world positions us as a leader in creating a less-polluted, healthier, and safer world.
Following yesterday’s announcement from the Government of New Brunswick about Health Zone 5 regressing back to the Orange Phase in the re-opening plan, the Belledune Port Authority has decided that all staff will work remotely as of today, May 28, 2020.
Proactive in nature, the Belledune Port Authority has and continues to follow all recommendations and guidelines from both provincial and federal levels concerning the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The safety and security of our staff, our partners, and of our community is our top priority. We will continue to monitor developments closely to help combat the spread of COVID-19.
For more information about GNB’s COVID-19 response, please visit https://www2.gnb.ca/…/content/respiratory_…/coronavirus.html
Please join us in welcoming McKeil Marine to the Port of Belledune!
The Port will be entering a transition period from now until April 27th, 2020 with McKeil Marine joining current tug operator, Atlantic Towing, for berthing and towing services. The Port will continue offering two tugs, and after the transition period, McKeil Marine will become the sole service provider.
We thank Atlantic Towing for their decades of service with the Port and for helping in this transition period.
To make arrangements with McKeil Marine, please contact Dan MacPherson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 506-333-6614.
Openness, transparency and accountability are guiding principles of the Belledune Port Authority. However, the Belledune Port Authority’s ability to meet timelines for proactive publication may be affected by the current circumstances and exceptional measures put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect the health and safety of our employees. As a result there may be delays in the proactive publication of information during this period. Making information available to Canadians proactively continues to be important to us. We will continue to make reasonable efforts to meet the timelines for the proactive disclosure of information, in accordance with operational realities. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding during this period as we all navigate these unprecedented challenges.
Martin Associates was retained by the Belledune Port Authority to measure the local and regional economic impacts supported by maritime cargo and vessel activity at the Port of Belledune’s marine terminals. The impacts are measured for calendar year 2018 and are estimated in terms of jobs, personal earnings, business revenue, and provincial and local taxes.
The economic model can be used to estimate annual updates, as well as test sensitivity of the impacts to changes in factors such as marine cargo tonnage levels, labor productivity, commodity mix, and inland origins/destinations of commodities. The model can also be used to evaluate impacts of new terminal development and conduct annual updates.
The study is based on interviews with 57 firms providing services to the cargo and vessels handled at the Port’s marine terminals. These 57 firms represent the defined population of tenants and service providers in the Port’s seaport community, underscoring the defensibility of the study. The data collected from the interviews was then used to develop these operational and economic models.
BPA Economic Impact Study Report 07-30-2019.pdf
Belledune, NB – The Belledune Port Authority (BPA) Board of Directors has recently appointed a new Chair on the Board of Directors. It was announced in July 2018 that Danika Keeley will be succeeding in the role, becoming the first ever female to hold this position with the BPA.
Keeley was previously serving as a director on the BPA Board before taking on this new role. She holds a bachelor degree of arts from St. Thomas University and has also studied business and Human Resources Management at Saint Mary’s University. She brings to the table her background and experience in business planning, financial management, human resources management, and fine-tuned marketing skills. She is a franchise developer with Dixie Lee (Maritimes) Ltd., and has also contributed her skills to the Campbellton Regional Chamber of Commerce, the New Brunswick Chamber of Commerce, and Enterprise Restigouche.
BPA President & CEO, Denis Caron has said “we are very excited to have Ms. Keeley as Chair of the Board. With her knowledge and experience, we know she will be successful in the role and continue to bring great leadership to the Board.”
Keeley is now part of a movement seeing more women occupying executive roles on serving boards. According to an article published by CBC News, between 2014 and 2017, “the percentage of women on Canadian corporate boards has gone up to 14 per cent from 11 percent three years ago.” (The Canadian Press, 2017). Although that statistic is still quite low and slow to increase, it is encouraging to see it growing. A study called “Women in Business: the Value of Diversity” conducted a thorough overlook of corporations in the US, UK, and India, and in each found that having women in leadership roles often leads to better performance by companies.
The BPA has made great strides in becoming more progressive with their business operations. In May of this year, the BPA signed a historic protocol with the Mi’gmaq communities around the region for a Relationship and Engagement Consultation for projects being considered at the port, as it is located on unceded traditional land. Now, the BPA can add to the list, having its first ever female Chairperson of the Board of Directors. Even more, the Port announced this year that it is now shipping 24 different products, and in July 2018, broke the record for the most tonnage handled at the Port in one month. The Port is also in the works of expanding on opportunities and are working on possible projects for the site.
The newly appointed Chair, Danika Keeley, said about her recent appointment “I am fortunate to be part of a group of highly talented professionals representing the various regions of Northern New Brunswick who are working together to ensure the good governance of the Belledune Port Authority. I am thankful for this opportunity, proud to be one of the Women of Transport and honored to have been selected to serve as Chairperson of the Board of Directors.”
For more information contact:
President & CEO
Belledune Port Authority
https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/women-boards-osc-1.4369447 New Chair Of The Board – ENG – MKTG – JLV.pdf