By Kevin Woodhouse
The Pointe Claire based company FP Innovations received very good news last Friday with a visit by two provincial ministers bearing a research grant for almost $250,000 towards a project to make trucks more fuel efficient.
Pierre Arcand, Minister for Plan Nord and Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Geoffrey Kelley, Jacques-Cartier MNA and Minister of Native Affairs along with FP Innovations president Pierre Lapointe held a press conference with staff and media to make the announcement. The goal of the program is to reduce fuel use and emissions by up to 15 per cent for commercial vehicles in the logging sector and eventual all trucks made after 2007 that contain default parameters enabling changes for maximum benefit.
“With this funding, FP Innovations can develop their heavy motor vehicles for trucks to optimize efficiency,” Arcand told the assembled. “This could result in changing 2,000 trucks a year with 4.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide saved, the equivalent of taking 3,000 cars off the road.”
Arcand sees the project as a win-win because “this can help preserve the environment while reducing greenhouse gases, demonstrating that Quebec can be at the forefront of energy efficiency.”
Kelley quipped that it is always a pleasure to see his colleague Arcand in his riding “as you are always welcome Pierre when you have good news.”
Only a more serious note, the improvements to improve gas usage for heavy trucks within the province’s forestry sector is “a good step forward as many northern communities rely on the forest industry and making it more efficient, economical while saving the earth.
“This is a very important industry for Quebec and FP Innovations contribution to the forestry sector, with its cutting edge technologies, helps the province maintain competitive,” said Kelley. “For the Côte Nord and Abitibi, forestry is very important and the native community wants to be partners in the industry.”
Arcand noted that the provincial government is taking further steps to become more self-sufficient and energy conscious by investing into research as well as reducing carbon emissions by 20 per cent by 2020.
Another initiative by the government is the eventual conversion of natural gas from diesel trucks since “43 per cent of gas use comes from the transport milieu,” said Arcand.