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Waste-to-energy plant and commercial greenhouse pilot project unveiled in Kuujjuaq

The waste-to-energy plant and northern commercial greenhouse pilot project, announced as part of the government of Quebec’s 2017-2017 economic plan, will be established in Kuujjuaq - the largest northern village in Nunavik, Quebec.

A sum of CAD$5 million (€3.3m), spread over three years, will serve to design and build a thermal waste-to-energy processing system then a commercial greenhouse heated with such system.

Pierre Arcand, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Minister responsible for the Plan Nord and Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region, and Geoffrey Kelley, Minister responsible for Native Affairs, made the announcement on 7 August in Kuujjuaq.

The pilot project, coordinated by the Société du Plan Nord (SPN), will be completed with the collaboration of community stakeholders, RECYC-QUÉBEC, and other ministries and governmental organisations working in waste management and greenhouse production.

The SPN and its partners will first put in place a system to transform waste materials into thermal energy. The heat produced will serve to heat the hydroponic greenhouse that will be built, as well as several other existing buildings.

This initiative responds at once to the real needs of the community and the Plan Nord's priorities for action.

According to the government of Quebec, these innovative facilities will ensure access to nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables for Kuujjuaq residents. According to the government of Quebec, they will also enable the community to increase its use of renewable energy. There is no doubt that it is an original and cost-effective solution to the open-air burning of waste materials.

Based on the results obtained, this promising pilot project could be implemented elsewhere in Nunavik and on the Plan Nord's territory.

"I am pleased to confirm, here, in Kuujjuaq, the development of a project with great potential which could benefit all the inhabitants of the Plan Nord's territory. This unique sustainable development concept hits two targets with one shot: the local community will have excellent-quality fruits and vegetables, while also recovering waste. It is without a doubt a novel way of producing fresh food while improving waste management,” said Pierre Arcand, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Minister responsible for the Plan Nord and Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region

‘Promote local food production’

Geoffrey Kelley, Minister responsible for Native Affairs, said: "I'm very excited by this initiative that comes as excellent news for the Inuit community of Kuujjuaq. In fact, this pilot project has the potential to have a real impact on the quality of life of all of Nunavik's communities, where the price of food is particularly high. This original solution will promote local food production and will greatly facilitate the supply of fresh food in Nunavik."

Luc Blanchette, Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks and Minister responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region and the Nord-du-Québec region, added: "The project announced today is a great opportunity for the communities of Nunavik. It is a reflection of Quebec's vision for the Plan Nord, which is to showcase the diversified potential of the territory for the benefit of the population. I hope that the waste-to-energy plant and commercial greenhouse pilot project will eventually benefit all Inuit communities who have the same type of need."

The goal of the Plan Nord is to develop the mining, forestry, energy, social, cultural and tourism potential of Québec north of the 49th parallel.

In a statement, the government said: “It will create jobs and wealth for northern communities and for Québec as a whole, in a way that ensures respect for northern populations and the environment.”

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