Wednesday, 18 Sep 2019


Turning waste wood into sustainable products.

In January, I attended the 15th Annual BC North Resource Conference in Prince George, BC. By all accounts this was a very successful conference that boasted record attendance.

On of the keynote speakers was Dr. Daniel Muzyka, CEO and President of the Conference Board of Canada, Chair of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and a Professor of Management at the University of British Columbia

A main takeaway, for me, was Dr. Muzyka’s assertion that Canadians are very innovative and resourceful and have many great ideas, but they lack in the execution of these ideas: Meaning we have the great ideas but fail to go to the next step and bring them to fruition or the marketplace.

This could be due to lack of investment or know how. That is a sad indictment indeed. But there are entrepreneurs out there that are fighting to develop and bring their innovation and dreams to the next step

Here is a great Canadian entrepreneurial story for you about a tenacious individual, who is determined to bring his dream of creating a viable, sustainable biochar business to fruition.

The company is Northern Biomass and is headed up by Talby McKay.

McKay has spent a good part of his life in the bush clearing and grinding up wood product that’s used to form wood pellets and a myriad of other uses, or simply burned.

So, when he came across a patented state-of-the-art, patented, kiln-based method to turn waste wood into sustainable biocarbon products, he jumped at the opportunity. He negotiated a joint venture deal with the US company and secured the rights for Canada.

During the past 4 years McKay has worked on a plan to develop this as an industry in Canada, with 6-8 facilities planned for across the country and a view to eventually expand globally.

McKay also made the decision to migrate, with his family, from Prince George, BC to Nanaimo. In Nanaimo, he has secured the land required to develop the first $16M plant to produce high quality Biochar products for established markets in the USA.  McKay says that once up and running, he has enough purchase orders to enable the plant to run flat out and still wouldn’t be able to satisfy demand.

Importantly, he has struck deals and partnerships to secure the fibre stock that will be required and with transport and shipping companies to ship the products by sea to market.

Northern Biomass’ websites states: “The markets for Bio-Carbon are massive. The need for high quality carbon either as an additive for consumer products such as plastic or steal, soil additives for agriculture lands and recreational facilities is at a low and with the reduction in conventional coal processing these markets will have a demand for Bio-Carbon.”

The Nanaimo plant will become a boon and showcase for the local Nanaimo economy producing many jobs during the plant construction phase, for trucking contractors and permanent jobs to operate the facility.

McKay has been banging on a lot of doors over the past year that include forestry companies, individuals and Government Agencies and believes he is very close to obtaining the investment he needs to build that first facility.

So, if you have a spare $16.000,000 laying around, or a portion thereof, have a look at Northern Biomass. This could your opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a sustainable business and be a part of what may become a great Canadian Entrepreneurial success story.


Talby McKay: CEO & President

Northern Biomass

104 Front Street

Nanaimo, BC V4P 5H7

Telephone: 250-591-9160


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