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P.E.I. company takes control of biomass heating units

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Government funding has allowed an Island company to fully own and operate biomass heating units at provincial buildings across P.E.I.

Atlantic Bioheat Inc now owns 11 boilers with another under construction at Hernewood Intermediate. Finance P.E.I. provided $5.8 million in repayable financing to support the acquisition from a numbered company based in New Brunswick.

Atlantic Bioheat Inc owner Dick Arsenault said the boilers are very efficient, less costly to operate, and greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions when compared to more traditional heat sources like oil.

Environment Minister Richard Brown said the use of renewable resources such as biomass from sustainably harvested woodlots provides significant economic and environmental benefits.

"Over the past 15 years, the use of fossil fuels in the province has been reduced by 40 per cent as governments, businesses and residents turn to other heart sources,” said Brown.

The province’s climate action plan calls for the installation of 20 more biomass units at public facilities over the next five years. The plan estimates this will result in a 4,000 tonne reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. There will also be significant cost savings for taxpayers. The boiler at Athena School, for example, saves approximately $18,000 a year in heating costs compared to an oil-fired boiler.

“This is another excellent example of how our financing programs are benefitting Island companies and contributing to our economy and job growth,” said Economic Development Minister Chris Palmer. “This acquisition is particularly exciting because it allows the province and an Island owned company to partner to help improve our environment by reducing emissions and heating costs at public facilities.”

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