Sunday, April 25, 2010

Podunk Below the Masthead (Friday, April 23, 2010)

Potential economic development in the Industrial park, more media salvos on Watson Island and the City hopes to hear our opinions of the budget at Monday night's council meeting, some of the items of the Friday news files.

The Daily News, front page, headline story
Promising things happening down at the Industrial Park-- The Friday edition features a look at some recent developments in Prince Rupert's Industrial park, with the Coast Tsimshian Resources  teaming up with a number of other companies a project to increase lumber shipments to the Far East. The introduction of a debarker to the site could lead to the expansion of services including custom cutting for Asia.

The city would like to see as many of Prince Rupert's concerned residents as possible to attend Monday night's council meeting, Chief Financial Officer Dan Rodin expressed his hopes for a good turnout so citizens can express their thoughts on the budget, their tax dollars and the fees that they pay. While he says he hopes the budget is approved, he feels that could depend on what Council hears on Monday night and if the people have concerns that could mean he has to return to his office and offer up more acceptable options.

The prospects are positive for the future of  chum salmon on the North Coast, thanks to the efforts of the Prince Rupert Salmonid Enhancement Society and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Friday's paper provides some background into their enhancement project at Silver Creek and the optimism it is offering.

The sports section featured a review of the Prince Rupert Rapids recent journey to Prince George, where other communities offered up warning that competition for the Rapid's recent dominance in the pool could be in the offing.

(Daily News Archives for Friday, April 23, 2010)

Promising things happening down at the Industrial Park
Citizen's encouraged to attend
Silver Creek may host chum again
Morton takes fish farm fight on the road
Local student achieves published playwriting status 

The Northern View
Sun Wave, Prince Rupert Mayor talk Watson Island sale, litigation and possible bankruptcy -- The latest in Watson Island point - counter point between Prince Rupert Mayor Jack Mussallem and Sun Wave Forest Products representative Bill Belsey plays out on the pages of the Northern View. (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
No Prince Rupert related items posted to Friday's website offerings.

CBC News British Columbia, Daybreak North
No new Prince Rupert related items were posted to the Daybreak North website on Friday

Daybreak North is only posting selected items on their website now. The most recently posted items can be found on the archive page for Daybreak North click here

Daily News, front page, headline story
Promising things happening down at the Industrial Park 
By Monica Lamb-Yorski - Staff Writer 
The Daily News
Friday, April 23, 2010 

 A boost in the local economy could be germinating in the form of a new debarker being manufactured at the former sawmill site in Prince Rupert’s Industrial Park.

The debarker is a joint project of Coast Tsimshian Resources, Alcan Forest Products, Tidal Transport and All-Wood Fibre, the manufacturer of the machine.

According to CTR’s Wayne Dury, the new debarker will be able to handle a great range of log sizes. “That’s what is needed to serve the export market,” Drury told the Daily News.

Up to this point CTR’s logs have been shipped to Putian City in China to be fumigated. It is the only port in China that can accept Canadian logs and fumigate them, Drury explained.

“That’s pretty expensive, so now we will be able to go to other markets. There are a number of areas and customers awaiting our wood.”

In 2009, CTR exported 120,000 cubic metres of raw logs to China, Korea and Japan.

Now the company is looking to increase that amount and move to the next stage, custom cutting for particular markets in China.

“It’s a natural progression in the development of our company,” Drury said.

Speaking from aboard a ship near Nanaimo, Ron Brinkhurst of Tidal Transport, credited CTR as the main driver behind the project.

Tidal Transport, along with Rupert Coast Sort, lease the site in the industrial park from the owners, F.J. M. Investments out of San Francisco. The company also owns the Ocean Centre Mall in Prince Rupert, which it purchased in 2007.

 “We are the lease holders and our contribution is to make room and prepare for the installation of the debarker. In essence, we’re providing the space and are hoping the debarker is going to help increase business,” Brinkhurst said. “We feel fortunate to be involved with the project.”

“We’ve been in Prince Rupert for just over two years and it’s been tough. We’re hoping volumes can actually continue and that market conditions will be the main driver. We took the site to provide a conduit where local shippers can prepare. The debarker is another way to open up those possibilities,” Brinkhurst said.

 “With our fingers crossed, we’ll move forward.”

 Hopeful that the increased market will be the catalyst for more employment in Prince Rupert and on the North Coast, Brinkhurst added that one of the things he likes about the project is the willingness of CTR to allow other companies to use the debarker. “They’ve really embraced that concept,” he commented.

Steve Holdstock of All-Wood Fibre, and manager for the project, said the debarker should be completely built and ready to use by the end of May.

Since 1994, All-Wood Fibre, headquartered in Prince George, has been servicing major forest production, logging, lumber, pulp and paper, and bioenergy companies.

 “We have a pretty good interest here,” Holdstock said. “When you’ve never done any work in this part of the province, it’s good to work with some partners to establish a relationship.”

All-Wood’s bioenergy projects include the ability to turn biomass into carbon. “Everything has carbon in it, even the hog fuel at the old pulp mill site. The carbon can be used for soil remediation, to enhance soil and for use in steel. There’s a whole slew of things that need carbon,” Holdstock added.

According to Holdstock, his company believes Prince Rupert is going to bloom again and certainly wants to help. 

Drury ascertains it takes a special mindset to be willing to develop projects with other companies and has been pleased with the way others have been willing to become part of the debarker project.

“Maybe it’s the water we drink,” Drury added with a chuckle. “It’s so much more exciting to work together and the more we can all do that to reduce costs the more competitive we can become on the world market.”

It’s not rocket science, Drury commented. “I figure, let’s go at her. There’s enough business out there, it just takes the will to want to make it work.”

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