Canfor to add pellet production to 2 sawmill sites in Canada

By Katie Fletcher | September 26, 2014

Canfor Corp. plans to collocate a pellet plant at each of the company’s sawmill sites at Chetwynd and Fort St. John in Vancouver, British Columbia. The two facilities combined will have a capacity of 175,000 metric tons of pellets per year. Wood pellet fuel supplier, Pacific Bioenergy, is bringing their decades of experience in the pellet industry to the construction and operation of the project through a partnership.

A long-term agreement is established with a power utility customer for the sale of the produced pellets. Amongst the components of the total $58 million investment is the electrical self-generation capacity of 3 MW that will be generated from a combined-heat-and-power (CHP) plant located at the Chetwynd site. This effort is supported through BC Hydro’s Power Smart Load Displacement Program. In order to qualify for the program the project had to be reviewed and evaluated by BC Hydro.

Don Kayne, Canfor president and CEO, believes the partnership will contribute to the company’s overall sustainable value proposition. “This project will displace 19.1 GWh of Canfor’s electricity consumption per year for 20 years, with a positive impact on all BC Hydro customers,” said Joanna Sofiel, Power Smart general manager.

The utilization of the sawmill residuals is also said to be enhanced with these investments. The feedstock to the plants will come primarily from the associated sawmill at each site, though some additional material will come from other Canfor mills and the open market, said Corinne Stavness, director of public affairs and responsibility with Canadian Forest Products Ltd.

Stavness also shared that the pellet product will be certified to international standards. “We intend to export the pellets out of the Port of Vancouver and transport them there by rail,” Stavness said.

The development of the pellet plants will bring some job creation. “The ongoing jobs that are anticipated to be created once the facility is operating is 31 total across both sites,” Stavness said.

Construction will begin sometime in quarter four of this year with the plants scheduled to commence production a year from now in the third and fourth quarters of 2015.