Business Opportunites

    • Key Available Sites
      Vacant industrial lands/prime redevelopment sites are available, ranging from small industrial lots to a 635 acre site.
    • Emerging Sector Opportunities
      The region is an important forestry hub, but there are emerging opportunities in biomass and other renewable energy.

    Emerging Sector Opportunities


    To locate primary and secondary land in the region that is suitable for biomass opportunities, please use the Northeast Community Network online map located here.

    Theoretically, according to the estimates contained in the Forest Management Plans for the Hearst and Gordon Cosens Forests, there is over 2.5 million m3 of biomass potentially available. However, this theoretical number does not take into account what is economically accessible, and itself is an estimate based on a number of assumptions – thus should be treated with caution. Estimates from the Sustainable Forest License (SFL) holders might represent more realistic numbers, and, according to a 2008 FERIC Study, they place forest biomass numbers around 238,800 Oven-Dried Metric Tons (ODMT)/year.

    An additional 2.2 million tonnes of wood waste in heritage piles is located in close proximity to Opasatika and Val Rita-Harty.

    The issue with heritage piles is that some degradation might occur over time with regard to the quality of the fibre. The Tembec Excel site in Opasatika also has a heritage pile. As of 2007, there was a total of 610,000 m3 of biomass available, but the pile has diminished over the years so the existing amount is undetermined.

    The sawmill operators are open to business opportunities and partnerships. Please contact the municipalities of Opasatika and Val Rita-Harty directly:

    Christiane Potvin, Township of Val Rita-Harty
    T: 705-335-6146

    Denis Dorval, Township of Opasatika
    T: 705-369-4531

    * Primary land for biomass opportunities is defined as: Class 3 soil that is already farm land and Class 4 soil that is already farm land. Secondary Land for biomass opportunities is defined as: Class 3 soil that is not currently farm land but could be converted and Class 4 soil that is not currently farm land but could be converted.


    There are a number of micro-FIT and FIT programs going on in the region. Two large hydro-electric projects are also underway in the immediate area of Kapuskasing. Hydromega is developing four waterpower facilities which will add 22 MW of energy to the grid. The Lower Mattagami River Project also involves four power generating sites which will add almost 450 MW of energy to the grid.

    The region offers significant renewable energy infrastructure – in the form of existing “waste” biomass, as well as the potential for new crop-based biomass development. In addition, the high quality irradiance specs for this part of Northern Ontario make this region well suited for a range of solar electric generation – ranging from micro-fit applications to major utility-grade solar farms. Additionally, solar panels work better in cooler temperatures.


    Agriculture is not currently a significant economic sector in Opasatika and Val Rita-Harty and in Cochrane District in general. However, a recent November 2011 agriculture study conducted by the Northeast Community Network (NeCN) in partnership with the University of Guelph points to the presence of favourable soil classifications and other factors, which suggest that there is the potential for enhanced agricultural opportunities in the fertile lands of Northeast Ontario.

    Study links can be found below:

    Agricultural Study Report 1
    Agricultural Study Report 1 Appendices
    Agricultural Study Report 2
    Agricultural Study Report 2 Implementation