Wood waste use ways opens eyes

A ONE-DAY session designed to spark interest in new ways to use northwest wood opened the eyes of those who attended, says one of its organizers.

Rick Brouwer, the executive director of the Skeena-Nass Center for Innovation in Resource Economics (SNCIRE), said heads were nodding in agreement during discussions around what is possible here.

“I really think the creative juices were flowing,” said Brouwer of the April 28 session.

One  point that did become clear was that no one wood use can stand in isolation to create a value-added industry in the area, he added.

“Biomass is not the only solution. It is not the magic bullet,” said Brouwer of making pellets from waste or of turning fibre into a coal-like product.

Another realization is to have the northwest better connected when it comes to the flow of information and knowledge, he said.

One possibility is adapting an existing computer model that would provide businesses with exact costs of transporting wood in the region.

The idea is to assemble exactly the kind of information that would be necessary for companies seeking bank or other financing, said Brouwer.

“What this precise information could do is eliminate the tire kickers quickly,” he added.

The model is in use by FPInnovations, a Canadian research institute made up of public and private agencies.

The provincial agency BC Timber Sales is a participant in FPInnovations and helped host the one-day session with SNCIRE.

SNCIRE was officially incorporated in January 2009 with the aim of transitioning the region to an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable resource economy.


Brouwer said the next step is to meet with FPInnovations and determine what kind of adaptations and tweaking might be required to make the computer model work within the northwest.



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