News Release

BC Hydro to purchase clean power from Nanaimo Forest Products

BC Hydro to purchase clean power from Nanaimo Forest Products Ltd. green energy project

Nanaimo, B.C. – Starting in 2013, Nanaimo Forest Products Ltd. will be generating and selling clean power to BC Hydro. Under its Integrated Power Offer, BC Hydro has signed a 15-year electricity purchase agreement with Nanaimo Forest Products Ltd. to purchase clean energy from a new 25 megawatt turbo-generation unit that is being constructed at the Harmac Pacific pulp mill located just south of Nanaimo, B.C.

The new turbo-generation unit will produce electricity from wood biomass and efficiencies within the pulping process using recaptured steam energy to help power the generator. Upgrades will also be made to the pulp mill’s boiler and hog fuel handling system.

During the 18-month construction period, the project is expected to create 85 full-time jobs in construction, engineering and technical work. Once complete, the new generating project is expected to produce 190 gigawatt hours of electricity annually for sale to BC Hydro or enough to power over 17,000 homes. Additionally, Nanaimo Forest Products will be implementing various energy efficiency projects resulting in 11 gigawatt hours per year of electricity savings.

Funding for the series of upgrades was made possible from Natural Resources Canada's Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program ($27 million) and BC Hydro’s Power Smart Partners Industrial Program ($1 million for a vacuum pump system upgrade). BC Hydro is also helping fund an Energy Manager at Nanaimo Forest Products Ltd. who will develop and lead a sustainable energy management plan for the company focused on continuous energy improvement.

Revenues from power generation will improve Nanaimo Forest Products’ business model by incorporating a fixed revenue stream that is isolated from the volatility of the pulp market.


Hon. Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines:
“These kinds of partnerships not only help create jobs for British Columbians, but also help to keep rates low. Clean energy projects also support economic development opportunities throughout B.C. and we commend Nanaimo Forest Products Ltd. on their upgrades which support both business viability and the local community.”

Doug Little, Vice-President, Energy Planning and Economic Development, BC Hydro
“Projects like this provide reliable, cost-effective clean energy and enable energy conservation. We need a mix of solutions to meet the growing demand for electricity: conserving energy, reinvesting in our heritage assets, and finding new sources of clean, made-in-B.C. energy.”
Levi Sampson, President, Nanaimo Forest Products Ltd.
“Investments in power generation facilities can be capital intensive. Support from the provincial and federal government and from BC Hydro underlines their commitment to help business thrive in British Columbia and their commitment to energy conservation and green energy generation.”


  • BC Hydro’s Integrated Power Offer was developed to complement the access of B.C. pulp and paper mills to Natural Resources Canada’s Green Transformation Program funds.
  • Under its Integrated Power Offer, BC Hydro has signed contracts with five pulp mill customers for almost 1,000 gigawatt hours per year of clean energy supply, enough to supply 92,000 homes with power.
  • BC Hydro now has electricity purchase agreements with 17 biomass projects for almost 3,500 gigawatt hours per year of contracted energy, enough to supply 321,000 homes with power.

Find out more about BC Hydro’s Bioenergy Initiatives.

About BC Hydro

Fifty years ago, British Columbians turned to BC Hydro to build the clean electricity system they count on to power B.C.'s economy, create jobs in every region, and keep the lights on. Now, BC Hydro is building again for the next 50 years. B.C. continues to grow and so has the need for more electricity. That’s why BC Hydro is building and renewing electricity infrastructure, and encouraging conservation to meet today’s needs and those of future generations. In 2011, BC Hydro is celebrating 50 years of providing power for British Columbians, and inviting them to help prepare for the next 50 years.

About Nanaimo Forest Products Ltd.

Nanaimo Forest Products Ltd. was created in 2008 by its employees. Its primary business is operating the Harmac Pacific pulp mill in Nanaimo, B.C. which is renowned for its production of world class quality NBSK (northern-bleached softwood kraft) pulp which is exported to paper makers around the world. The business is based on a unique employee ownership model in the forest industry in British Columbia with its success being achieved through the guidance, ingenuity and hard work of the people that both work for and own the company.

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