REPORTING · 21st January 2010
The Kitimat City Council Meeting had a special presentation by Erich Fussl of Pytrade Canada on January 11th. Fussl was not able to attend the meeting and met with Council Via Conference Call. Fussl first approached Council back in September to present the wood chip industry to Council and answer any questions they might have.
Below is a bit of the history.
On August 10th, 2009, Fussl first attended council to speak about Pytrade which sells Bio Oil Power Plants. The Bio Oil can be made from wood. He explained that in 2008, the German company decided to go International and decided, after market research that BC would be the best market for them.
Half of this was because of the climate action plan for renewable energy created by the BC and the other half was that they have heard of good promotions for BC Business from the BC Ministry of Development while in Europe.
“We think that we can contribute a lot with our technology, First of all, [...] one of the big points is a green house and generating carbon credits. The transformation of wood waste or any kind of waste is a […] neutral process and this would result in some side products of the process which are bio oil and gas and charcoal,” said Fussl at the time.
He explained that BC was a niche market for them because of some of the smaller communities. They sell generators up to 10 Megawatts. In addition, he added that there was no competition in this field. He explained that it would have both economic and social impact. It would be a transfer of technology and would draw investors to the region. He suggested that this would provide energy for West Fraser as well as the oil and gas industries.
In December, Council met in camera with Fussl via conference call although the details of the call are not known. On December 21st however, council discussed entering into a memorandum of understanding with Pytrade Canada.
On January 11th, Mayor Joanne Monaghan started the conference call by reading a letter sent to council from Fussl.
“The project is an investment in the District of Kitimat. The project contributes to goals of BC Climate Action Plan and the Business Development by implementing a fully integrated business system based on biomass, power production and greenhouse,” read Mayor Joanne Monaghan.
Mayor Monaghan explained that this means that they use Biomass to produce electricity and heat. The heat could be used to operate greenhouses. She also explained that Pytrade wants to use Kitimat as a showcase for the starting up of their business in the North American Market. The letter added that they wish to manufacture equipment here for future markets as well. The letter also suggested that there are other industries and projects that Pytrade could work with.
Councillor Feldhoff asked what the next step is and if they were looking for community support or financial support.
“We see this project here as a project with the district as with the community. […] We are opening a manufacturing of biomass plant and CHP unit. We are not per say a power producer so the project itself is a presentation plant for the North American Market. We actually do have a presentation plant for the European market in Germany. We want to do the same for the North American Market,” said Fussl.
He explained that clients want a working unit in North America and they wish to invest in the community. He explained that they want the community to work with them. He explained that the core project is the creation of biomass but there are secondary projects which can be green house or hydroponics. Speaking to the resource and workforce, Fussl explained that Kitimat had what they were looking for.
He suggested that Pytrade will contribute four to five CHP units to the project worth around $3,000,000 total. He added that they will be housing a 1.2 Megawatt power plant and 4 green houses that will bring the total project to about $9,000,000. Monaghan added that they are not asking the community for funding, simply to be welcomed into the community.
Councillor Gerd Gottschling asked how many jobs this 1.2 Megawatts would provide. Fussl estimated that it would take about 15 people to run one of these plants with four people in the greenhouse.
Councillor Randy Halyk asked if the District needed to provide land or money for the project. Fussl replied that if the district had land available, they would be happy to contribute. However, they have spoken to other groups in the region as well. He did say that the District would not have to contribute any funding to the project as there are grants available from the Provincial and Federal government. Mayor Monaghan added that there were also grants that require support from the district.
Councillor Richard McLaren summarized: “You are not asking the District of Kitimat for money but you are asking the District for help.” Councillor Mario Feldhoff offered to help as best he could. Mayor Monaghan added that they would continue talking about this project. With little more to say, the conference call ended and council continued.
During communications, Councillor Mario Feldhoff made a motion to formalize the Memorandum of Understanding with Pytrade. He stated that they have detailed questions and the MOU would help them answer those questions. He commented that the number of jobs would not be huge but this would be significant, as it would assist the fish hatchery. Councillor Halyk approved because there was opportunity for future development.
“It’s something good for our community and something positive for our community. I think right now, we could use some positivity,“ said Mayor Monaghan. The motion was called and carried.
Comment by Leon Dumstrey -SooS on 21st January 2010
I do not understand where from and why the Major can OFFER PYTRADE a GRANT keeping in mind COUNCILS NEW TAX PLAN!
Is it NOT ENOUGH that the PYTRADE has FEDERAL an PROVINCIAL GRANTS available- our TAX money-!!! Hello there ....... am I missing something or perhaps the MAYOR????????????????