B.C. City May Get $60 Million TimberWest Pellet Plant

Western forestry giant TimberWest is considering a $60-million pellet manufacturing facility on Vancouver Island near Nanaimo. Construction on the project could begin as early as the fourth quarter of this year with production expected to begin during the following 12 months, company president and CEO Brian Frank told a Nanaimo business audience Wednesday. It is […]

Western forestry giant TimberWest is considering a $60-million pellet manufacturing facility on Vancouver Island near Nanaimo. Construction on the project could begin as early as the fourth quarter of this year with production expected to begin during the following 12 months, company president and CEO Brian Frank told a Nanaimo business audience Wednesday.

It is estimated the facility would produce 200,000 tons of pellets per year made from leftover fiber material sourced from the forestry and manufacturing sectors, including the company’s own forestry operations. The company says construction of the facility will result in 80 short-term construction jobs, plus 60 indirect jobs. Daily operation of the facility, once complete, will employ 15 people.

“It’s a pretty complex project and we’re in the process of doing our due diligence,” Frank said. “We’ve commenced our engineering and design, but we have not gone to a final investment decision yet. So it’s not a certainty, but we’re working very hard to make it a reality.”

He said the company will likely make a final decision in the third quarter of this year. If the project goes ahead, Frank said it will be the first of its kind in coastal B.C. Unlike other plants that produce pellets, the facility would use exclusively ‘residual’ materials, such as tree tops, branches and other waste that would otherwise be burned. Frank said the facility would also use materials, such as hogfuel and sawdust, from other producers.

The proposal has two benefits, he said. On one hand it adds value to materials that would otherwise be wasted; plus, it lessens the impact on the environment through less burning. He said the Nanaimo area was settled on as a potential site due to its central location as well as its access to deep-water ports for shipping.

From the Nanaimo Daily News: http://www.nanaimodailynews.com/news/city-may-get-60m-pellet-plant-1.1128399

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