Subscribe Archives Calendar ContactTimberWestMadison's Lumber DirectoryAdvertiseMedia Kit LSJ Home Forestnet

 
Untitled Document

Logging and Sawmilling Journal November 2014

May 2015

On the Cover:
B.C.’s Valley Pulp & Sawdust Carriers Ltd has hauled a lot of different materials in its decades of operation—but the company has now expanded its operations to hauling logs in the B.C. Interior, and it is working for several forest companies operating in the region. Watch for the story on Valley Pulp & Sawdust Carriers in the next issue of Logging and Sawmilling Journal (Photo courtesy of Valley Pulp & Sawdust Carriers).

Prince George: a century
of sawmilling

The City of Prince George—home to the Canada North Resources Expo—is celebrating its 100th birthday in 2015, and it has a rich sawmilling heritage over that century.

Seizing the moment —in logging
Log Commander Enterprises, owned by the Webster Brothers—Ryan and Curtis—of Quesnel, B.C. has chosen to seize the moment in the logging upturn, expanding their fleet of logging equipment by a factor of four in the last 18 months.

Back to the future—with phase logging
Forest company Tolko Industries is revisiting the past with its Innovative Phase Logging program in the B.C. Interior, and it is delivering detailed—and valuable—information on logging equipment performance and production.

Recipe for recovery
A major planer upgrade at Tolko’s Soda Creek Division stud mill operation in Williams Lake, B.C. is going to help expand its range of products and improve grades and recovery at the mill, a solid recipe for improved competitiveness.

The latest in logging tools
Northeastern B.C. logging company Hi-Sky Enterprises has introduced some new Komatsu machines into its logging equipment line-up to provide their employees with the latest in logging tools, and make sure they are able to keep moving wood efficiently to meet the needs of their customer, lumber giant Canfor.

Going full tilt
New logging operation Full Tilt Contracting is looking forward to doing exactly that—going full tilt—in the not too distant future, helped along by solid logging equipment and an experienced crew.

Cranking out the lumber at Idaho Forest Group
Attendees at the recent Small Log Conference got a first-hand look at Idaho Forest Group’s new Lewiston, Idaho upgrade and its focus on a HewSaw SL250 3.4 installation that is already cranking out six million board feet a week—with room for more production.

Energy—but with a green footprint
A new wood-fired district energy system in the B.C. Interior is delivering multiple benefits, including solving the issue of residue disposal from a local sawmill using a Bandit 1390 XP 15 inch drum chipper, and in the process delivering energy that has a greener footprint.

Taking charge on the marketing side
Having had success manufacturing and marketing red pine product, Ontario’s Heideman sawmill recently made some acquisitions, and has now taken charge of marketing its finished white pine product.

The EDGE

CLICK HERE for the Canada North Resources Expo Showguide

DEPARTMENTS

Tech Update: Skidders

Supplier newsline

The Last Word

 

 CLICK to download a pdf of this article

Energy—but with a green footprint

A new wood-fired district energy system in the B.C. Interior is delivering multiple benefits, including solving the issue of residue disposal from a local sawmill using a Bandit 1390 XP 15 inch drum chipper, and in the process delivering energy that has a greener footprint.

By Jim Stirling

The installation of a wood-fired district energy system in the Village of Telkwa, British Columbia, has created widespread benefits.

A local custom cut sawmill solved a residue disposal issue and generated a new market. The village’s elementary school, a rebuilt municipal building, local businesses and some nearby private homes also have a new efficient heating system that leaves a greener footprint. A cleaner airshed is important to most Telkwa residents and their neighbours throughout the Bulkley River Valley of west central British Columbia.

The Village of Telkwa’s wood-fired energy system is not new technology. “It’s a tried and true system in Europe,” says Scott Beck (left), engineering technologist with the village. The wood slabs (above, facing page) from which the chips are created to feed Telkwa’s energy system come from the Triantha Enterprises custom cut sawmill in Telkwa.

The wood-fired district energy system is also attracting the interest of other small communities and is proving to be a catalyst for commercial investment opportunities in the village.

All of which represents a considerable achievement for the community of about 1,500 people straddling two rivers—the Bulkley and the Telkwa—upstream from the town of Smithers, which is about half way between Prince Rupert and Prince George.

The biomass energy system initiative evolved when the village council faced the necessity of replacing its old municipal building, recalled Scott Beck, engineering technologist with the Village of Telkwa. The council opted to rejuvenate a vacant commercial building downtown instead of building a new structure. Renovating the 10,000 square foot building delivered the opportunity to create additional space for lease, thereby generating cash flow for the village.

A biomass district energy system came into focus as a clean alternative energy solution to heat Telkwa’s downtown core. “Through financial support from the Omineca Beetle Action committee and expertise from the Green Heat Initiative program (or Wood Waste to Rural Heat), Telkwa hired Wunderlin Consulting to write our feasibility study proving the business case for the now installed district heating system,” explained Beck.

As a result of that study, the village formerly applied to the federal Gas Tax Innovation Fund for an exterior retrofit of the building, and the installation of a biomass district heating system. The application was successful and the village was awarded $644,320 to complete the two phases.

The village again sought the services of Wunderlin Consulting, a Smithers firm specializing in bioenergy solutions, to create a request for proposal to supply and install the biomass energy system.

The process resulted in Telkwa installing an Austrian-made Herz Firematic 80-301 300 Kw boiler supplied by Western Bioheat Corp., of Fort Langley, B.C., chalking up a first for B.C. municipalities.

Installation of the district heating system began in 2013, with the village acting as its own general contractor. Connections were made to participating buildings up to 200 metres from the new village office where the boiler and heating system is located.

“Our system is not new technology,” continued Beck. “It’s a tried and true system in Europe.”

The steepest part of the local learning curve with the wood-fired energy system has been with the chip supply chain, he said. Essentially that includes the source, supply, delivery/handling and storage of the chips. The wood slabs from which the chips are created to feed Telkwa’s energy system come from the Triantha Enterprises custom cut sawmill in Telkwa (see accompanying story).

Converting the approximately 500 cubic metres of reject slabs annually—most of which had ended up being burned in the past—is presently contracted out for chipping to ProTech Forest Products of Telkwa. The company leases the village’s Bandit 1390 XP 15 inch drum chipper with a Kubota 142 hp diesel engine to reduce the slabs to more uniform sized chips for use in the bioenergy system. “We’ve learned how to operate the system properly,” said Beck. “Now, as we go forward, we can implement the knowledge learned into the working process.”

In the aftermath of the mountain pine beetle epidemic in the B.C. Interior, large quantities of wood fibre exist that are unsuited to commodity lumber production. Wood biomass heating systems like Telkwa’s provide a primer for what’s possible. It joins just a few other commercial operating systems in the region. The University of Northern B.C. has been a trailblazer in the field, integrating the use of wood energy into its campus infrastructure and using it as a teaching and research tool. The university has launched a $2.2 million expansion to its existing bioenergy system. On completion, the university’s student residences, enhanced forestry lab and daycare facility will all be heated by wood pellets supplied by Pacific Bioenergy in Prince George and sawmill residues. Financial contributions to the expanded system include TransCanada, a power generator, the BC Bioenergy Network and the Omineca Beetle Action Coalition.

The Village of Telkwa’s wood-fired energy system is not new technology. “It’s a tried and true system in Europe,” says Scott Beck (left), engineering technologist with the village. The wood slabs (above, facing page) from which the chips are created to feed Telkwa’s energy system come from the Triantha Enterprises custom cut sawmill in Telkwa.




Diversification is key for Triantha Enterprises sawmill

Chatting with John Van Den Berg about his custom cutting sawmilling operation is an object lesson in wood utilization on one hand and providing its customers the products they want on the other.

Van Den Berg’s Triantha Enterprises mill operation on the outskirts of Telkwa in west central British Columbia resembles the region’s large commodity lumber mills only in the pervading smell of fresh sawdust.

Triantha’s emphasis is on wood product diversification. But small mills also need regular customers for some of their products and Triantha has theirs.

Regionally sourced white spruce, for example, is earmarked for furniture component manufacture and companies like Palliser and La-Z-Boy. Mines and drilling companies are other regular customers for Triantha’s wood products. Six by six timbers and 2 X 8s, for instance, are “our stock in cornflakes”, and sell well for use as drilling pads. “But in between there’s all manner of customers and requirements,” said Van Den Berg.

Latterly that includes the Village of Telkwa, which now takes slabs generated by Triantha’s custom milling for chipping as feedstock for the village’s district energy system (see accompanying story).

John Van Den Berg of Triantha Enterprises operating the Bell 6000 firewood cutting machine, and (below) with his all electric Wood-Mizer LT70 sawmill.

Elsewhere around the wood yard, various species and lengths of log await conversion to multiple products or a one-off.

Van Den Berg says Triantha typically logs between 80,000 and 100,000 cubic metres annually. The wood access opportunities come through the Wetzin’kwa Community Forest—operated for the Town of Smithers, Village of Telkwa and the office of the Wetsuwet’en—the Lake Babine Nation and through BC Timber Sales, within an approximate 80 kilometre radius. They hand pick their requirements in the bush, figure out what’s in a sale that will make products for their regular customers, including dry wood timbers, and harvest the rest for conversion into other products.

Under part of a modified aircraft hangar, Triantha has installed a Wood-Mizer LT70 all electric sawmill unit. It’s quiet, clean and requires only one operator, explained Van Den Berg “It also came with all the grinding equipment in a package deal.” The previous owner used it for furniture parts manufacturing, but Triantha has extended it to handle timbers up to 26 foot long.

The mill set-up also includes a Bell 6000 firewood cutting machine.

Firewood is far from a homogenous product either, pointed out Van Den Berg. Customers require specific lengths and sizes to match varied uses and combustion units. And they often require them in job lots. The firewood cutting machine recently produced the equivalent of some 30 logging truck loads in about four months. The firewood making capability is a further illustration of a custom sawmill’s function and versatility.