BDO ZoneCONNECT Webinar: Southwest Nova Scotia, Canada and Richland Parish, Louisiana

News and Resources for BDO Zones, Press Release


BDO ZoneCONNECT Webinar:



On May 2nd, 2024, Ecostrat Inc., in collaboration with TheDigest, hosted the BDO ZoneCONNECT webinar, spotlighting two top BDO Zone communities in North America: Southwest Nova Scotia, Canada, and Richland Parish, Louisiana. This one-hour event provided an in-depth exploration of the biobased development potential of these BDO Zones, both of which have received an ‘A’ rating for Woody Biomass, highlighting them as prime locations for large-scale bioeconomy projects.

The webinar, led by Jim Lane, Editor of TheDigest, and featuring key insights from Aryn Garswood, Head of the BDO Zone Initiative, focused on the regions’ feedstock availability, infrastructure strengths, and attractive local incentives. Participants, including Rod Badcock of Greenspring Bioinnovation Hub and Scott Franklin from the Richland Parish Chamber of Commerce, discussed their areas’ readiness for bio-based projects, underscoring their ample biomass resources, project-ready sites, strong infrastructure, and appealing tax benefits.

BDO ZoneCONNECT, a joint initiative with The Daily Digest, aims to facilitate connections and stimulate development interest within BDO Zone communities. It serves as a catalyst for networking, sharing new BDO Zone ratings, and attracting a diverse global audience of stakeholders, including investors, bio-based project developers, financiers, and community leaders.


To view the webinar, please click below:


Summary of Presenter Remarks

Peter Wolf, Project Director, Ecostrat:
  • “The 400K tons of low-grade round wood in the Southwest Nova Scotia BDO Zone is expected to come from existing operations, added to this is the saw mill residues in the region. The region’s supply chain has proven it’s capable of supplying this material and has done so for a number of decades.”
  • “The project development sites are located within 150 km to the Port of Halifax, this is a huge advantage in terms of end market access.”

Rod Badcock, Executive Director, Greenspring Bioinnovation Hub:
  • There is a supportive Ecosystem and a number of engaged partners who are ready to host bioeconomy projects at their sites within the BDO Zone.”
  • “Southwest Nova Scotia has a long history of supporting forest product industries, Freeman Lumber (one of the industrial sites in the BDO Zone) has had a saw mill in operation for almost 200 years.”
  • “There are tax credits available from Atlantic Investment and the Nova Scotia Capital Investment Tax Credit, these tax credits work together to create a 32.5% tax credit on projects over $15 million.”
  • “The strength of the zone is the strong partners and the potential host sites we have. The Bridgewater Business Park which is currently undergoing a 125 acre expansion. The Kaizer Meadows Industrial Park is zoned for heavy industrial use which includes waste to energy operations. The Port Mersey Commercial Park, this was the home of a former newsprint mill. Finally, Freeman Lumber, which is the largest mill in Nova Scotia, has lands adjacent to the saw mill site which are under development by Freeman Lumber as a bioeconomy park; they are looking to host bioeconomy projects at this site.”
  • “The high performance logging program is an equipment operator training program that recruits forestry equipment operators, trains them and matches them with employers. We have a very skilled workforce and a number of targeted programs around bioeconomy projects.”

Bob Buckingham, Project Director, Ecostrat:
  • We analyzed pulpwood, forest residues and saw mill residues in the region. Richland Parish is very in tune to handle large scale biomass plants. There is 650K bone-dry tonne of low risk woody biomass available for new industries that want to come in.”
  • “The timber industry has been in operation for over 150 years and is producing over 10 million bone-dry tonne of woody biomass annually.”
  • “This is a very positive area not only from a feedstock stand point but infrastructure as well, there are several sites available that have utility, road and rail access.”

Scott Franklin, Director, Richland Parish Chamber of Commerce:
  • This area [Richland Parish, LA] is pro business. We welcome anyone who can bring value added jobs to the region.”
  • “We have 5 Louisiana Economic Development certified sites. At the Holly Ridge East Site we have 300 acres of open land, immediate access to the interstate and over a mile of KCS Rail frontage. We are the single landowner and open to sell to someone who can bring significant employment to Richland Parish.”
  • “The biggest incentive for a company wanting to land in Northeast Louisiana is the Louisiana Industrial Tax Exemption Program. Currently this program offers an 80% abatement of ad valorem taxes.”
  • “We are very excited about what a BDO Zone can do for our community and this opportunity to market our sites. These sites are perfect for advanced manufacturing and are recognized nationwide.”

For more information on the Southwest Nova Scotia BDO Zone, click here, and for their slide deck, click here.

For more information on the Richland Parish, LA, BDO Zone, click here, and for their slide deck, click here.

Contact Information:

Rod Badcock, BDO Zone Local Development Leader (LDL) and Executive Director, Greenspring Bioinnovation Hub (

Scott Franklin, BDO Zone Local Development Leader (LDL) and Director, Richland Parish Chamber of Commerce (

Aryn Garswood, Head of the BDO Zone Initiative (

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