Atikokan seeking to offset plant closure

The mayor of Atikokan says his Northwestern Ontario town is “hopefully making progress” aimed at softening the economic and social blow of the closure of the nearby coal-fired power plant next year.
“We have several things on the horizon,” Dennis Brown said yesterday.
Brown said a study on the feasibility of setting up a laminated veneer lumber manufacturing plant is expected to be finished in a week or two. “That looks positive,” he remarked.
Town council already has backed Fibratech’s bid to develop the facility, which could generate up to 100 new jobs.
Development of a veneer plant in Atikokan would help ensure the long-term survival of Fibratech’s current particle-board plant and the town, Brown said.
Laminated veneer lumber is used in construction industry as long-beam headers, floor and roof joists, and rim boards.
In other developments, Brown said a consultant has been hired by the province to conduct a study into alternative fuels for the Ontario Power Generation plant.
Brown said more details will be released next week.
In the study, an independent consultant will “examine sustainable and viable options” to coal-fired generation, including bioenergy from wood biomass, peat, and pelletized waste.
The study should be finished by mid-March, Brown added.