First Nation’s biomass project put on hold

Following the denial of federal funding, the Lake Babine Nation’s plan to build a biomass plant have been shelved, according to local media.

Project manager Bernard Patrick told BC Local News that he hoped the lack of funding for the second phase of the project would prove to be just a temporary setback.

“We are still hopeful… [the Lake Babine Nation] council is still in support of it,” he said.

“We’re changing our game plan to seek funding elsewhere. But right now there are other projects that are more of a priority for LBN that we’re concentrating on.”

Located on the banks of the Babine Lake in central British Columbia, Canada, the Lake Babine First Nation consists of roughly 2,000 members. Its traditional language is Babine-Witsuwit’en.  

According to The Interior News, the biomass project was originally expected to be completed by 2017. Earlier this year, Patrick said several denied requests for funding had caused delays.

Phase one of the biomass project, including an engineering feasibility study and a skills training programme, has already been completed. Phase two would involve building an underground distribution system for Fort Babine, and phase three would involve the construction of an energy centre alongside establishing a business set-up and operation training.

If it eventually comes to fruition, the biomass plant would burn wood chips to sell heat to government organisations, private homes in the town of Woyenne and community buildings in Fort Babine. It’s forecast that the project would create five full-time and eight part-time jobs. 

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