A MAJOR player in the northwest logging industry is bringing in engineers to further plans to build a sawmill and a pellet plant in Terrace.
One team of engineers will concentrate on a sawmill first and will be followed by a second team to work on a pellet plant, says Wayne Drury, the general manager from Coast Tsimshian Resources.
Both would be built on what is known as the Poirier log yard, the large piece of property by the Frank St. level crossing west of town which Coast Tsimshian now uses as a log sort yard.
Coast Tsimshian has said before it is interested in building both a sawmill plant and a pellet plant at the location.
“This continues us down the road to that goal,” said Drury of anticipated construction.
“We’ve said all along we’ve wanted to establish a processing presence and we’re continuing to do that in a methodical fashion.”
Coast Tsimshian bought the Poirier yard and cutting rights to large portions of the northwest when former regional forest giant Skeena Cellulose went bankrupt in the last decade.
Owned by the Lax Kw’alaams band from Port Simpson, Coast Tsimshian has developed an active export market to southern B.C. and to Asian markets, primarily China.
Drury said the type of wood prevalent in the northwest means Coast Tsimshian needs to extract as much value from every log it wants to process.
That’s why, he continued, a pellet plant is a good fit to use what’s left from the sawmill after lumber is cut.
“You can’t have one without the other,” Drury continued.
While he would not reveal the name or names of Coast Tsimshian’s partners in the pellet plant, he said it was a major company with a large presence in the pellet field.
“We just want to take one step at a time to make sure we get it right,” Drury said.
The approach is different than the one used by the first company Coast Tshimshian hoped would follow through on a plan to locate a bio-energy plant at the Poirier site.
Global Bio-Coal Energy and Coast Tsimshian hosted a reception in September 2010 with the former saying it would use microwave energy to turn wood waste into a coal-like substance which would then be used in European power plants.
The plant was to cost $30 million with Global coming up with financing and Coast Tsimshian contributing land at the Poirier site.
The technology Global wanted to use was first developed in England.
The Global/Coast Tsimshian arrangement ended last year when Global said it was switching technologies to one developed by a New Jersey company and that it was looking to strike a deal with another northwest First Nation instead.