Exploits MHA Jerry Dean says that is the rough timeline for the province to respond to the requested memorandum of understanding for the proposed Biofuel plant in Botwood.
“I’m hopeful, based on my conversation with the Minister (Steve Crocker, Fisheries, Forestry and Agrifoods) yesterday, it looks like somewhere from a week to 10 days out from now, we will be bringing forward something for Newgreen Technology to evaluate” said Dean.
Newgreen Technology, a locally owned company, has requested the rights to 285,000 cubic meters of forest fiber. The company is looking to build a 185 million dollar saw mill and Biofuel plant in the town of Botwood.
The proposed mill would be capable of producing 20 million board feet of lumber. The waste material from the milling process would then be used to produce Biofuel, fertilizer and animal feed.
“I don’t forget where I grew up to,” Dean told the Advertiser. “I grew up here in Botwood and in the Exploits Valley, I didn’t grow up somewhere else.”
The decision expected in the coming weeks will not be the end of the process however. Dean says there will some matters that still will need to be finalized beyond the government’s initial decision, and he hopes to see the process proceed.
Once the province has offered the decision, and subsequent conditions, the company will then have to make their own determination.
“Based on what the company has been saying to us, I’m hopeful, very hopeful, that will be the biggest part of the puzzle,” said Dean.
Once the decision has been made the next potential step would be to bring forward an acceptable business plan for the province to review according to Dean.
The review would be conducted by the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development, BTCRD) and Cathy Bennett, Minister of Finance.
“That’s how all governments work,” said Dean. “The biggest hurdle, in my opinion based on my involvement, has been the issue of the fibre allocation and we’re confident, with some fine tuning if its needed, that we will be able to accommodate the company’s request.”