New plant for Port

  • Feb. 17, 2014 10:00 a.m.

A briquet plant in Port is expected to be up and running by May, creating jobs, using waste, and providing a new heating option for islanders, said Jim Abbott of Abfam Enterprises.Haida Gwaii Forest Products, a partnership between Abfam Enterprises Ltd. and the Old Massett Village Council, will hire five to eight new employees to convert sawdust from its mill into briquets for use in specialized efficient burning stoves, said Mr. Abbott.After the Ministry of Environment shut down the mill’s burner, Mr. Abbott said, it had to find a new way to dispose of sawdust. It’s solution, was to convert the waste into burnable briquets or pellets.”Right now, we’re trying to utilize the waste from our mill only. If we found the market demanded more than we could produce, then we might expand that to others,” he said.Mr. Abbot said HGFP estimates the plant will produce about 14,000 tonnes of briquets each year, of which most will be sent to markets off-island.”When we estimated local consumption, assuming schools and municipalities would get involved, we thought about 1,500 tonnes. That’s 10 per cent of what the mill will probably produce in a year. The excess will be exported off-island, just like our logs,” he said.Mr. Abbott said briquets were thought to be a good option for Haida Gwaii because many briquet stoves can burn wood as well, enabling islanders a heat source supplement. He added that briquet stoves are already widely used in Europe and Asia.”The briquets it will be producing, from the information we’ve gathered, the heating costs will be about half, versus electric, diesel, or oil. If we had cheap natural gas here, it would be comparable to the cost of heating with it,” he said.

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