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Grant to help BC organisation use wood fibre for bioenergy

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A grant provided by the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia is helping the Terrace Community Forest (TCF) to reduce emissions by utilising wood fibre as bioenergy.

The project, which started on 1 June, will support around four (full-time equivalent) jobs through the grinding and trucking of waste wood fibre that would otherwise be burned. The $443,000 (€284,600) grant will allow TCF to ship the ground waste wood to Skeena Bioenergy’s new pellet plant in Terrace, where it will be used to manufacture wood pellets.

Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, said: “One of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC’s goals is to support increased use of fibre from damaged or low-value forests.

“This project is a great example of how waste wood fibre can be redirected to support the production of high-quality wood pellets.”

The TCF has been thinning second-growth tree stands over the past few years within its tenure area, with white wood waste (hemlock and balsam) being brought to a processing area to be de-limbed and cut into log length.

Around 15,000 cubic metres of hemlock and balsam were piled up to allow the wood to dry for two years. This curing period reduces the moisture content of the wood and decreases its weight, allowing more of it to be transported per truckload and lowering drying costs at the pellet plant.

TCF had stockpiled the wood waste for two years instead of burning it, hoping to find an alternative method of using the fibre. The grant, which is supported by the BC government and the federal government, will help to meet that objective.

“Without this funding, we would be burning this fibre since it is otherwise uneconomical to transport it,” said Kim Haworth, general manager at TCF. “Now, we can grind and store the white wood on site and supply the fibre to the pellet plant on an as-needed basis.

“We would rather see the fibre used, generate some revenue, and provide economic, social and environmental benefits to our community.”