Nova Scotia

Project to heat N.S. public buildings with wood delayed by a year

It won't be until 2021 before the Nova Scotia government begins a project to heat some of its buildings using wood.

Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin says it won't be ready until 2021

The provincial government has a list of 100 public buildings that could be converted to be heated by low-grade wood. (CBC)

It will be another year before the Nova Scotia government begins a project to heat some of its buildings using wood.

The use of district heating is a suggestion from the Lahey report on forestry practices and intended to help diversify markets for low-grade wood.

Lands and Forestry Department officials announced this past summer a pilot project that would see six government buildings converted to be heated by low-grade wood in 2020, with eyes toward expanding that based on a list of 100 buildings identified for possible conversion.

Although the plan had been for that project to be ready in time for this heating system, Lands and Forestry Minister Rankin said on Wednesday that things won't be ready on time because the work is taking longer than anticipated.

"We were trying to move ahead as quick as we could, but we wanted to look at which sites would be the best for us to move forward with," he said.

How the 6 sites have been chosen

Rankin said the government is waiting for responses to a request for suppliers, which closes later this month, at which point the tender for the work would go out sometime after that.

"Now, it's aiming for the 2021 season," said Rankin.

He said the six sites, which are spread around the province, have been identified based on how close they are to private woodlot owners and sawmills, but won't be confirmed until the tender goes out.

About the Author

Michael Gorman is a reporter in Nova Scotia whose coverage areas include Province House, rural communities, and health care. Contact him with story ideas at michael.gorman@cbc.ca

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