LEFT Production is in full swing and markets are growing. RIGHT Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard was accompanied by a large group of provincial and federal politicians, Resolute Forest Products board members and Toundra Greenhouse officials for a tour of the 8.5-hectare complex. In 2015, the cogeneration plant was for sale and they pre-pared to make an offer, but Enel Renewable Energy sold their 21-megawatt power plant to Greenleaf Power. To find a reliable source of thermal energy they decided to look away from the cogeneration plant. Who was the other industrial partner with heat available nearby? The answer: Res-olute Forest Product, with its pulp mill 15 kilometres from the downtown area. When Dubé asked for a meeting with Richard Garneau, Res-olute CEO, in February 2014, he was offered 10 minutes for his pitch. “We ended up spending an hour together. This was the beginning of a successful relationship.” Stunned by the proposal to make a business partnership to grow cucumbers, Garneau readily asked, “Is there a market?” He needed this kind of information to convince the Resolute board to jump on board. And Dubé replied quickly. In July, he came back with a Sobey’s promise to buy all their cucumber needs after meeting with Yvan Ouellet, Sobey’s procurement and merchandizing vice-president. “We believed in this bold and crazy project. And today, cucumbers produced here can be found in 450 points of sale in the province,” he said. From then on, Resolute agreed to be a 40 per cent partner in the project and to allocate a field close to the pulp mill for the project, but Garneau stated his conditions. Local partners had to come up with a good business plan and use an efficient and recognized technology. The municipality also needed to be a partner and the workforce should be found locally. The Sobey’s commitment was important, but the challenges were far from over. The agricultural zoning had to be changed. Local support was challenged when the mayor proposed invest-ing millions of dollars in water supply infrastructure. Construc-tion workers also protested when Dutch workers came to build the greenhouses. But in the end, the project was completed on schedule and on budget. 32 GREENHOUSE CANADA -June 2017 In the greenhouses, an integrated computer system con-trols more than 700 environmental parameters, ranging from lighting, humidity, fertilizers and CO 2 level controls. To improve plant growth, extra CO 2 , derived from natural gas combustion, is injected in the greenhouse, increasing the concentrations from 340 ppm to 800 ppm. But that’s not all, since CO 2 Solutions, a carbon capture specialized business, will build its first commercial $7.4 million project to feed the greenhouses with 30 tons of CO 2 per day captured from the pulp mill, the equivalent of 2300 cars off the road. To do so, CO 2 Solutions, which already has a 10-ton per day demonstration unit in operation, uses an enzyme-based proven technology, says Evan Price, the company’s president and CEO. The project will be completed in 2018. And that’s not the only byproduct coming from the mill, since 25 per cent of the energy comes from the heat released in the pulp-making processes. The remaining energy comes from natural gas boilers. The plants, which receive 20 hours/day of lighting, are irrigated and fertilized simultaneously and all elements not absorbed are recycled. Likewise, 98 per cent of the water is ob-tained from precipitation collected in basins or recycled through the recirculation system. Toundra does not use pesticides and relies on integrated pest management. All of this is just the first phase of a $100-million-project covering 34 hectares planned over the next years. Hard to say when the next phases will be built, but the promoters are opti-mistic and other vegetables could be grown. More good news for Toundra: Subway restaurants just signed a contract to supply 600 Québec and 250 Eastern Canada restaurants with Toundra cucumbers. For Gilles Potvin, this project exemplifies the birth of a new ecological industrial era, where waste can become huge oppor-tunities for others. Guillame Roy is the editor of Opérations forestières et de scierie, a sister publication of Greenhouse Canada .