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Conversion of the Whapmagoostui Arena to Biomass Energy

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Client: Nimschu Iskudow Inc.

Location: Whapmagoostui (Northern Quebec)

Période: Since 2014


The Cree community of Whapmagoostui is not linked to Hydro-Québec’s provincial electrical grid. Instead, the community is powered by three diesel generators belonging to Hydro-Québec. A fourth generator is specifically dedicated to supplying the Arena with electricity. It produces the electricity required to power the ice-producing system, the lighting system and other auxiliary systems. The fourth generator is owned by the community and generates high operating costs. The arena is also equipped with a diesel-supplied boiler to power the heating system.

The objective of the project is to replace the 455 KW diesel generator with biomass boilers. The three main aspects of this project are:

  1. The installation of a storage system for the wood pellets;
  2. The conversion of the Arena’s heating and ice production energy load to a biomass supplied boiler system;
  3. Transformation of some of the energy loads currently provided by the Arena’s generator.

The project has been developed through a “Build, Own, and Operate” structure where the Owner, Whapmagoostui First Nation, will save around $250,000 a year in energy costs. In addition, this project will create new jobs within the community and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


YAB Management has provided professional services including:


  • Conduct a preliminary Feasibility Study, compile data on energy consumption for the arena and analyze the energy costs of the community arena;
  • Recommend solutions to convert the arena’s energy load for heating and cooling to a biomass system;
  • Set up the financing structure of the project and prepare funding applications;
  • Provide corporate support to Whapmagoostui First Nation;
  • Incorporation of Nimschu Iskudow Inc. (information on why this is significant)


  • Plan, coordinate and supervise the overall progress of the project;
  • Develop and negotiate contracts for the financing, design, construction and operations;
  • Manage tender process and RFP documents;
  • Administer design and construction contracts, and monitor work progress;
  • Conduct meetings between major stakeholders including; Whapmagoostui First Nation, Hydro-Québec, Architects and Engineers, General Contractor, Subcontractors, Insurances Broker, Financial Institution, etc.


See Press ReleaseProgramme de biomasse forestière résiduelle – Le gouvernement accorde une aide financière de 1 148 435 $ à Nimschu Iskudow pour un projet innovant et structurant de conversion à la biomasse forestière résiduelle dans le Nord du Québec