A photo from the facility in Kitimat from where the residual wood fibre is transported to coastal pulp mills. NorthPac Forestry Group Ltd. in Hazelton is reducing greenhouse emissions by recycling residual wood fibre rather than burning it. (FESBC photo)

A photo from the facility in Kitimat from where the residual wood fibre is transported to coastal pulp mills. NorthPac Forestry Group Ltd. in Hazelton is reducing greenhouse emissions by recycling residual wood fibre rather than burning it. (FESBC photo)

A northwest B.C. pulp mill is reducing greenhouse emission by recycling residual wood fibre

Hazelton-based NorthPac Forestry Group is transporting residual fibre to coastal mills instead of burning it

A Forestry group near Hazelton has managed to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing pile burning and sending the residual wood fibre to coastal pulp mills to be recycled.

As part of this project, 1,050 truckloads of residual wood fibre from NorthPac Forestry Group Ltd is delivered to Kitimat. The pulp logs purchased by All West Trading Limited is barged to coastal pulp mills to be used to make pulp, paper products, and green energy.

NorthPac Forestry Group Ltd was able to do so through a $484,164 grant from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC).

According to NorthPac’s CEO Cathy Craig the project is a step towards assisting the province and Canada’s climate change targets by saving approximately 42,000 cubic metres of pulp logs from being burned in the forest.

“Our FESBC-funded project allowed us to increase the overall recovery of fibre from our area forests, resulting in a greater availability of logs for domestic pulp producers and a reduction of the amount of biomass that is burned each year,” said Cathy Craig, CEO, NorthPac Forestry Group Ltd.

Residual waste wood fibre, which has very low economic value, is legally required to be burned to reduce wildfire hazard. The operational cost is high for other solutions with skidding, processing, loading, hauling, and increased road maintenance. The challenge is more so in the Kispiox area where there are minimal wood processing facilities and a forest dominated by low-value hemlock.

Th project also contributes towards local and provincial economies, said FESBC’s operations manager, Gord Pratt.

“The project was delivered by a team of local logging and trucking contractors, and it contributed to the regional economy of northwest British Columbia,” said Pratt. “This is a win-win because it not only creates economic benefits for local communities, but global environmental ones as well.”