Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Podunk Below the Masthead (Monday, May 31, 2010)

Forestry companies in the Industrial site welcome their latest addition, a vehicle crash on Highway 16 claims one life and Seafest preparations continue as the festival gets closer, some of the items of interest from Monday.

The Daily News, front page, headline story
IT'S FULL STEAM AHEAD FOR LOCAL LOG DEBARKER--  The latest piece of machinery to be installed at the old North Coast Timber site has local forest companies hopeful of better times for the industry on the north coast.

With the closure of the local Ministry of Forests and Range office, employees prepare to leave the north coast and when they do a bit of Prince Rupert's forest related history will be left behind in the vessel Coast Ranger.

Time Horton's annual coffee day takes place this week and the Daily News featured some details of the event and where the money raised is directed to.

The Sports section features a look at high school  track and field and the progress of local hockey player Devin Oakes as he moves on towards provincial Team BC tryouts.

(Daily News Archives for Monday, May 31)

It's full steam ahead for local log debarker 
The end of an era 
Annual coffee day for kids' camp
Keeping an eye on medical stats

The Northern View
No new local items were posted on the Northern View website for Monday

CFTK TV 7 News
Weekend Vehicle Crash Near Terrace Claims Life -- Tragedy on Highway 16 as a pick up truck goes off the road near Kalum River claiming the life of one of four in the truck (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
2010 Seafest approaching -- The first report in the lead up to this year's Seafest Celebrations (see article here) (Sahar Nassimoost offered up this report for TV 7)

CFTK TV 7 News 
Enbridge Promises Full Review of Northern Gateway Project -- Enbridge officials weigh with their thoughts on environmental concerns over their proposed Gateway project (see article here)

CBC News Northern BC, Daybreak North
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
It’s full steam ahead for local log debarker 
By Monica Lamb-Yorski
Staff Writer 
Prince Rupert Daily News
Monday, May 31, 2010 

For almost a week, the new log debarker at the former sawmill site has been churning out peeled logs at a rapid pace.

Built by All-Wood Fibre of Prince George, the vast machine is made primarily from recycled parts. Some pieces came from North Central Plywood after it burned to the ground two years ago.

 “The only thing left at the site was the debarking line,” Project Manager Steve Holdstock told the Daily News. All-Wood Fibre purchased the facility last year, rebuilt it and shipped it to Prince Rupert’s industrial park.

Working in collaboration with All-Wood Fibre, Tidal Coast Terminals Ltd., Alcan Forest Products and Coast Tsimshian Resources have come together to make the million-dollar plus debarking project a reality.

On Tuesday the debarker was fired up for the first time and by Wednesday, most kinks were ironed out and it was running well.

The equipment can process five logs a minute at high speed. On Wednesday, 90 percent of the logs losing their bark were Balsam and the rest were Hemlock.

Operator Ray Bulleid from Terrace stood on the platform running the machinery with a remote control. It was his second day on the job.

 “We’re all learning,” he called over the roar of the peeler.

 The logs are deposited up onto the platform by a loader and then roll along the platform before they drop down, and move toward the large spiked blades, losing their bark along the way.

It’s a debarker that has the ability to adjust, depending on the diameter of the logs, and once each logs has lost its bark, a horn blows, alerting the machine operators.

Electrician Geoff Ronan controls the machine’s computer. He and Bulleid are the production team.

There have been six other employees during the construction phase and some of them will return for routine maintenance, said Holdstock.

In addition, there are scalers, loggers and truckers bringing and retrieving the logs. “It’s created jobs, which is a good thing,” he added, saying the machinery will run six days a week, 12 hours a day.

 When asked if rain causes a problem, he said, “No. This thing can run rain or shine.”

According to Holdstock, part of the whole idea behind the facility is to develop a business place together that goes beyond a debarking facility.

“All the companies have brought an expertise to the table that will benefit the partners. We’re all hoping this is a small stepping stone in our business venture together.”

Peter Brown of Tidal Coastal Terminals Ltd. described the new project as a great 

 “We’re using fibre that wouldn’t have been used ten years ago, it would have just been a pulp situation. We’re also using it to open up new markets. It opens up opportunities for longshoremen on the ships and container service. Also we’re doing some of our high ends of logs as well, and that opens up markets in China.”

In fact, Wayne Drury of CTR said, in an email Wednesday, his company has been in China on a wood marketing trip.

“Much of our effort is focused on exploring the opportunity for custom cutting lumber for the Chinese markets. We are visiting Beijing, Shangahai, Lonshang, Taichang, and a couple other locations,” Drury wrote.

Looking around the site Brown admitted he’s really happy with what’s gone on in the last six months, especially in these tough economic times.

 “Even in this week I must have had four different inquiries from other sources to bring wood to be debarked here,” he added.

Responding to concerns regarding what is going to happen to the leftover bark, Brown said they’ve been talking with the Ministry of Environment about several different options.

One is the possibility of making fishmeal, another is using a curtain burner to generate power.

 “We’ve been looking at options and the Ministry of Environment seems satisfied with the proactive stance that our companies have taken,” Brown commented.

 If the site was closer to the interior of the province the bark would have a higher value, but the cost of transporting is prohibitive and local solutions need to be created.

 “Everybody sees that if they give us a little bit of time, we will find the value again here on the Coast,” Holdstock said.

 Drury has been tod by a number of people that the debarker is the best operation on the coast of British Columbia. 

“Pretty exciting, the employment it is generating and the benefits to the Northwest from Terrace to Prince Rupert and Lax Kw’alaams, all lead by a First Nation Community that was once described by the CBC as “at the end of the forgotten road”,” Drury added.

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