Lake Babine Nation seeks partners in biomass project

 LBN hopes to provide energy to nearby communities while reducing wood waste.

Lake Babine Nation (LBN) is seeking for partnerships to expand operations of its biomass plant, which is expected to be on the grid in 2017.

Two LBN representatives recently approached the board of directors of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) to provide an update on the development of the biomass plant and propose a partnership moving forward.

Although the plan is for the biomass plant to burn wood chips from LBN communities such as Fort Babine and Tachet, project manager Bernard Patrick said there’s opportunity to utilize wood waste from other areas of the regional district and to provide energy to different communities.

Patrick said a feasibility study has already been conducted and that it would be possible for LBN to supply energy to buildings such as hospitals and nursing homes in nearby communities such as Burns Lake.

Bill Miller, Chair of the RDBN, agreed that there’s opportunity for a partnership between LBN and the regional district.

“I’m sure that there will be lots of conversation from now on after we connect our staff,” said Miller during a RDBN board of directors meeting on June 23, 2016.

Telkwa Mayor Darcy Repen also expressed interest, saying LBN should contact Telkwa staff to discuss a possible partnership.

The project’s phase one, which included a feasibility study, engineering design and crew training, has already concluded. During phase one, eight locals received on-the-job training through a government-funded program called job creation partnership project.

“The job creation partnership project is a first for our First Nation and the benefits coming from this have already impacted the communities in a positive way,” said Patrick. “It has brought back hope that both the communities of Tachet and Fort Babine can become self-sustaining and unified and the workers are getting fantastic job experience.”

As part of the program, participants built 67 firewood storage sheds for LBN in Tachet and Fort Babine, as well as two timber bridges. The firewood sheds were intended to reduce power consumption in those communities.

“It’s a win for everyone when eight people gain access to work experience in forestry practices that will help an entire First Nations community become energy self-sufficient,” said Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad. “The Lake Babine Nation and its residents will benefit from this job creation partnership for years to come.”

Lake Babine Nation is now waiting for funding from different agencies to start phase two of the construction project, which involves the construction of an underground distribution system in Fort Babine.

Phase three of the construction project, which is expected to wrap up in 2017, will see the construction of an energy centre in Woyenee, as well as a business set-up and operation training.

Once completed, the biomass plant is expected to create five full-time and eight part-time permanent jobs.

According to Patrick, other benefits from this project include the reduction of LBN’s carbon footprint, revenue from the sale of heat and electricity and cost-efficient heating.

The province has provided $40,000 to LBN for a feasibility study in 2013, and more than $110,000 for the job creation partnership project.

The provincial government estimates Northern B.C. has the largest availability of wood biomass in the country, with approximately 3.1 million cubic meters of potential forest tenure available for use as biomass for energy.

 

Just Posted

The 2021 Walk to End ALS took place in Burns Lake on June 19. A walk around the LDSS track and a draw for the quilt made by Jenny Pirie was organized by Ronda Payne for her friend Barb Wilson. Wilson was diagnosed with ALS in 2016. The draw raised roughly $6,300 from all across Canada, with tickets being bought from as far as Ontario. Burns Lake local won Patti Dube won the draw and the quilt. The money raised will now go to the ALS Society which in turn will be going towards more ALS research and for ALS Societies to provide support to other individuals and families living with this disease. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
VIDEO: Walk to End ALS held in Burns Lake

The 2021 Walk to End ALS took place in Burns Lake on… Continue reading

Grad 2021 parade through the village. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
VIDEO: LDSS graduation 2021 parade in Burns Lake

Lakes District Secondary School (LDSS) in Burns Lake had a graduation parade… Continue reading

First farmer's market Burns Lake 2021. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Community Market 2021 begins in Burns Lake

Burns Lake & District Chamber of Commerce’s community market, which has received… Continue reading

Garden woodchips. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Greenhouse progress in Burns Lake

The Burns Lake Community Garden have a huge pile of woodchips, rough… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read