Monday, November 28, 2011

West Fraser Timber Company Plans Two Biomass Powered Plants in BC

This might be something we start seeing more of in BC - established forest companies building biomass/bioenergy plants. The technology is approaching the point where forest material that would otherwise go unused, or be burned into the atmosphere, can be harnessed and used to create a cleaner energy. The energy can be used to run adjacent building or mills, or possibly be sold back into the grid for general use. Material that could be used would be pieces of wood that are too small or too poor quality for lumber or other forest products. This will be a good trend to watch.

West Fraser Timber Company is mulling identical, biomass-powered generation plants at two of its subsidiaries in British Columbia. The plants are being planned in response to BC Hydro's (Nelson, British Columbia) "Bioenergy Call to Power" program to acquire and provide cost-effective, clean, renewable energy.

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

$24 Million Investment in Castlegar & Grand Forks mills

Good news for Castlegar and Grand Forks in the BC Kootenays.

International Forest Products is planning a total of $24 million in upgrades to two of its mills in Castlegar and Grand Forks. This will certainly create some jobs in the area, and is a vote of confidence in the future viability of these mills. Great news for the local communities.

At its meeting today, Interfor's Board of Directors approved a $24 million capital plan to upgrade the Company's Grand Forks and Castlegar sawmills.

The plan involves the installation of a new small log line at Grand Forks to replace the existing two-line facility, along with funds to complete the installation of an automated lumber grading system. The Grand Forks project is budgeted at $19 million and will incorporate the same technology recently installed at the Company's Adams Lake sawmill. Construction will commence in the first quarter of 2012 and will be completed in mid 2013.

The investment at Castlegar, which totals $5 million, consists of a series of high return projects including the installation of an automated lumber grading system focused on increasing productivity and value extraction at that mill.

When completed, the Grand Forks and Castlegar mills will operate with a combined capacity of 375 million board feet on a full two-shift basis.

The Grand Forks and Castlegar sawmills were acquired by Interfor in April 2008. The projects announced are consistent with the Company's philosophy of operating top quartile manufacturing facilities capable of extracting full value from the available timber resource. The investment, which will be funded primarily out of operating cash flow, is made possible by the Company's strong financial position and by the support of the management and crew at the two mills, along with other stakeholders, who have helped create a positive operating and investment climate in the area. The improvements to be made at these mills will help support long term jobs in the local communities.


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