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Ontario invests $5M in province’s first automated CLT plant


July 25, 2019
By Ellen Cools

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Jeff Yurek speaks at Ontario's press conference for Element5's fully automated timber facility on July 23

July 25, 2019 – The Ontario government is investing almost $5 million in Element5‘s fully automated cross-laminated timber (CLT) plant, the first in the province.

This will result in more than 60 new jobs in St. Thomas, Ont.

According to a government news release, the $32 million manufacturing facility will be one of North America’s first fully automated cross-laminated timber plants. The wood products will be used to construct buildings and other infrastructure projects in Canada and the U.S.

“We’re grateful for the support of the government of Ontario. This is a significant investment in the Ontario forestry industry, job creation, housing, innovation and technology, and the environment in the form of green building practices,” says Frank Dottori, industry leadership at Element5, in a statement. “Through their generous support, Ontario and specifically St. Thomas are well poised to become the centre of the mass timber industry in North America.”

The provincial government has also committed to increasing the use of timber – specifically Ontario timber – in home construction and renovation through the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan and the Housing Supply Action Plan.

“I’m pleased to support Element5’s work to create cost-effective and environmentally friendly building materials from sustainable renewable sources,” says Jeff Yurek, minister of the environment, conservation and parks, and MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London, in a statement. “This investment will reduce carbon dioxide emissions and create jobs right here in Ontario and in St. Thomas, contributing to our goal of balancing a healthy environment and healthy economy.”