Harmac receives federal funding boost

Nanaimo's Harmac pulp and paper mill received $9 million in federal funding Monday to pay for more efficient and environmentally friendly components.

The announcement was made by Nanaimo-Alberni Conservative MP James Lunney and Gary Lunn, federal minister for state and sport, at Harmac.

The money is part of the federal government's $1-billion Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program.

Levi Sampson, president of Nanaimo Forest Products, which owns Harmac, said the money has already been spent on three projects that are finished or well underway.

"The first one is pulp machine efficiency improvements ... which allows us to use far less energy," said Sampson. "The second project is a chemi-washer save-all installation, which allows the mill to reuse and recover hot water and the third project is a chiller upgrade that will see one chiller do the work of two previous chillers at nine times the efficiency."

Both the chiller and chemi-washer projects have already been completed.

The improvements will save 25,000 gigajoules of energy annually, or enough energy to power 600 homes.

Last year, Harmac received a total of $27 million through the program for various programs. Those improvement need to be completed by March 2012.

A total of $88 million in forest sector spending was made across the country Monday.

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