BC project to convert logging waste into bioenergy

A project in British Columbia has received funding to collect residual fibre from logging processes and generate bioenergy.

LP Building Solutions received $665,000 (€468,000) in funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), to utilise nearly 17,500 m3 of residual fibre – equivalent to 430 logging truckloads – to generate power at its facility in Golden.

Much of the fibre would normally be left behind on local logging blocks and wildfire risk reduction treatment areas to be burned on-site, as it does not meet sawlog or pulp log requirements. This funding enables an increase in the utilisation of this residual fibre and reduces smoke levels by avoiding pile burning.

“One of the biggest challenges if fibre utilisation is having somewhere to use it, so this is a unique opportunity where the fibre can be used to generate energy,” said Gord Pratt, RPF, operations manager at FESBC.

“There’s a need and desire to utilise this fibre and LP is looking at opportunities to utilise fibre recovery around Golden, including the utilisation of fibre from Kinbasket Lake, to generate renewable energy to power its mill.”

A ‘significant number’ of logs are pulled from Kinbasket Lake, a reservoir created by the Mica Dam, every year, and are normally burned. LP sees an opportunity to explore utilising these logs from the reservoir and is using some of the FESBC funding to see if they can be a viable source of renewable energy to generate power for the mill.

Scott King, RPF, Silviculture forester at LP, noted the fibre from the reservoir is free from dirt, making it a cleaner fuel source to be processed into hog fuel.

“Like anything, when we try something new, people must come together to work collaboratively,” said King. “I’m very proud of what we’re doing as a company. It’s enjoyable to work on a project everyone is keen to get behind and support.”

The Mayor of Golden, Ron Oszust, said the project is an “amazing example of industry working together to find better solutions for our communities and our environment”.

“Reducing wildfire risk close to our community is critical and being able to avoid the burning of this fibre, along with other waste fibre to avoid smoke, benefits the community,” said Oszust. “This plant provides many long-term jobs to our community members, and we support the effort to innovate and explore new ways to power the plant.”

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