Company up for award

A NORTHWEST forestry company has been nominated for an export award sponsored by a national organization and a provincial government ministry.

A NORTHWEST forestry company has been nominated for an export award sponsored by a national organization and a provincial government ministry.

Coast Tsimshian Resources is up for the Northern BC Exporter award, one of a group of awards sponsored by the BC division of the national Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association and the provincial jobs ministry. The other nominees in the category are Kyahwood Forest Products in Smithers and Conifex Timber of Vancouver.

There are nine award categories in all, ranging from developing consumer products to professional services.

All entries must have export as a focus in order to be considered.

Coast Tsimshian Resources, which is owned by the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation, took on a higher profile when it bought timber tenure from the bankrupt ruins of the once-dominant Skeena Cellulose empire in the northwest.

With Brinkman Forest Ltd. as its forest manager and with a log sort yard in Terrace and a debarker in Prince Rupert, Coast Tsimshian exports logs outside of the country and to other parts of B.C.

“But we remain focussed on looking for ways to add value to the resource in the region,” says Coast Tsimshian general manager Wayne Drury.

The quest for added value is taking the company on a search taking in everything from sawmilling to using the waste that would be produced from any manufacturing facility.

Just recently, Coast Tsimshian acted as the host for a group of log buyers from China, which has proven to be an attractive market ever since the company opened an office in Beijing in January 2008.

“If China is to be a valuable market for us, what better way to access capital, and we will require capital, then from China,” said Drury.

But the key overall is finding a viable and economic way of using wood waste, he added.

“You just can’t throw it in the dump anymore,” Drury noted. The search for a wood waste use has led Coast Tsimshian to strike a deal with a Vancouver-based company to build a bio-coal plant in Terrace.

Coast Tsimshian would provide the land for the plant and management services but a go ahead remains contingent upon finding more than $20 million in financing.

Pellet manufacturing is also on Coast Tsimshian’s list of potential products and it lately has been talking to BC Hydro about a co-generation plant that would burn waste to create electricity.

Drury acknowledged that the latter discussion may look odd because  Lax Kw’alaams has been in a dispute with BC Hydro over aboriginal rights and title tied to work on the crown corporation’s Northwest Transmission Line.

Lax Kw’alaams has yet to sign an impact benefits agreement with the crown corporation concerning the line and last month asked crews hired to do geotechnical work for the line’s right of way to leave an area the Lax Kw’alaams claim as their own.

Those crews are back at work and the two parties have renewed efforts to sign a benefits agreement. Export award winners will be announced at a luncheon in Vancouver on Oct. 28.