Pellet Production Facility
Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek (BNA) and its neighbouring First Nation community, Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek (AZA) have created a 50/50 partnership called Wawasum Group LP to develop a wood pellet plant located in BNA’s new industrial park, located just off of Hwy 11.
In 2011, BNA and AZA applied to the Ministry of Natural Resources Forestry’s competitive process and successfully obtained 113,000 cubic metres of hardwood annually off of the Lake Nipigon Forest. The design of the production facility will allow the operation to use wood residuals, chips and round wood to produce a hardwood premium pellet, with a specific grade for electrical generation facilities and domestic use.
Wawasum Group LP is in the process of finalizing its engineering and environmental studies in order to see if whether or not the development of a wood pellet facility would be a manageable and feasible opportunity. If we were to proceed with construction, we believe that this Project will bring about the following benefits:
- Provide long-term sustainable employment opportunities for BNA and AZA members, as well as for workers from around the region;
- Provide industry specific training and marketable employment skills to the membership;
- Generate a significant revenue stream for both BNA and AZA First Nations, both of whom are in the process of developing brand new communities within their reserve lands;
- Utilize the rich and underutilized natural resources within the region to their full potential.
Many First Nations communities are located in areas surrounded by renewable forests. First Nation communities should therefore play a large and active role in not only managing the forest, but also to ensure that there is a balance and respect for traditional activities like fishing, hunting, trapping, and gathering, while at the same time creating feasible economic opportunities for their members.
With ongoing support from the communities of BNA and AZA, Wawasum Group LP is committed to pursuing the development of a wood pellet production facility that has the potential to shape and benefit both communities in a long-term, positive way.