With support from the provincial government’s Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund, Nexterra Energy Corp. is implementing an alternative energy system that will cut operating costs for a Lower Mainland industry and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 22,000 tonnes per year, Technology, Trade and Economic Development Minister Ida Chong said today.

“The ICE Fund investment is realizing a double dividend in this project by helping an important local employer in New Westminster sustain good industry jobs and reduce costs, while lowering carbon emissions significantly,” said Chong. “This success showcases British Columbia as a clean technology leader – exactly what we expect the ICE Fund to accomplish.”

Nexterra Energy Corp., a successful B.C. cleantech company, will supply the Kruger Products Ltd. tissue mill in New Westminster with a direct fired biomass gasification system – the first of its kind in the pulp and paper industry. The system converts locally sourced wood residue into clean-burning syngas to fire a boiler to produce heat for the company’s industrial process – dramatically reducing the need to burn natural gas.

Jim Dangerfield of FPInnovations said advancements to Nexterra’s gasification technology make the switch from fossil fuels to syngas an attractive option for many of North America’s pulp and paper mills and other industrial site.

“Nexterra’s direct fired gasification system is a platform technology that can be used in many industrial applications,” Dangerfield said. “Replicating Nexterra’s technology at industrial sites in B.C. could result in an estimated 200,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emission reductions in British Columbia annually by 2020.”

“Kruger Products’ new gasification system at its New Westminster mill clearly demonstrates its commitment to the environment and the sustainability of the community in which it operates,” said Nexterra president and CEO Jonathan Rhone. “Kruger, FPInnovations, the B.C. ICE Fund, Ethanol BC, and the federal government have been tremendous partners in this project, and we look forward to completing the plant later next year.”

Last July, the Province of British Columbia announced a $25-million investment in the first 15 successful ICE Fund applicants, including the Nexterra-Kruger project. The projects focused on bio-energy, solar, geothermal, biomass and other alternative energy approaches. The ICE Fund helps position British Columbia as a world leader in clean energy and fosters solutions to climate change.

In September 2008, the provincial government announced the ICE Fund will invest a further $25 million towards alternative energy projects in rural British Columbia communities. The ICE Fund will help B.C. cut greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent by 2020.

For more information on the Province’s Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund, including details on community eligibility and application requirements, please visit the website at www.tted.gov.bc.ca/ICEFund/Pages/default.aspx.