Opasatika's biomass attracts two energy companies.Two bioenergy companies have expressed an interest in constructing energy facilities in Opasatika--a welcomed lifeline for the township of 300 residents as they struggle to recover from Tembec's departure.
Scarborough-based Gilead Power Corp. and Fabrication fabrication (fab´rikā´shn),
n the construction or making of a restoration. Ecoflamme Inc. from Temiscaming, Quebec have announced their intention to join Palmarolle, Quebec's Cyclofor at the defunct Tembec site, which employed 78 people before shutting its doors.
"If you look at the softwood softwood
Timber obtained from coniferous trees (mainly of the pine and fir families). With the exception of bald cypress, tamarack, and larch, softwood trees are evergreens. industry in our neck of the woods, it's really taken a bad slump in the last few years, so we have no choice but to try and be innovative and reach out for the future," says project manager Paul Nadeau.
Cyclofor is slated to be the site's anchor tenant as the company would enter the nearby Gordon Cosens and Hearst forests to recover the slash and residue left over from other forestry operations. The material would then be returned to the plant to be processed and ready for use by Gilead Power and Ecoflamme.
This proximity to readily available biomass fuel drew the interest of Gilead Power, which is considering building a $150 million, 10 megawatt meg·a·watt
n. Abbr. MW
One million watts.
mega·watt (MW) biomass energy generation facility in the 69,000-square foot Tembec site.
"One of the biggest things that kills the economics for almost any wood project is how many times you handle it," says Paul Pede, president, Gilead Power. "The less times you move it, the more economic a project tends to be, and with this proposed site, there would be one move only."
The possibility for sharing resources also acts as a significant draw for Gilead, as the wood rooms and other facilities represent a healthier bottom line and therefore, a more attractive investment.
"Rather than taking that hog fuel and shipping it to a different location, you have essentially on that one site two different facilities. You have these tremendous cost savings, because you only have (to buy), one front-end loader front-end loader
An earthmoving machine with a hydraulic scoop in front for lifting and loading earth or rubble. and one set of conveyors, rather than multiplying that across different facilities."
Currently, Gilead Power is undertaking a series of engineering, legal and hydro studies to determine the economic viability of building the proposed facility, which may well exceed the projected 10 MW if the studies provide positive results. This would create between 14 and 25 permanent jobs, with a construction date starting in 2008.
"As it seems right now, the project is in the black; we just want to make sure it stays in the black," Pede says.
Ecoflamme would also be able to make use of Cyclofor's biomass output by converting it into wood pellets Wood pellets are a type of wood fuel, generally made from compacted sawdust. They are usually produced as a byproduct of sawmilling and other wood transformation activities. for use in heating systems and pellet stoves A pellet stove is an appliance that burns compressed wood or biomass pellets to create a source of heat for residential and sometimes industrial spaces. By slowly feeding fuel from a storage container (hopper) into a burn-pot area, they create a constant flame that requires little . Although the company is primarily looking at European countries as a target market, the need for pellets is widespread and growing.
"As an example, there's a shortage of 250,000 tons of pellets in California, because they're also being hit by the downturn in logging operations, and they're selling more and more pellet stoves," says Claude Brisson, president, Ecoflamme. "The only way they're managing to get any real supply right now is through British Columbia British Columbia, province (2001 pop. 3,907,738), 366,255 sq mi (948,600 sq km), including 6,976 sq mi (18,068 sq km) of water surface, W Canada. Geography
, and that's only because of that province's problems with the pine beetle beetle, common name for insects of the order Coleoptera, which, with more than 300,000 described species, is the largest of the insect orders. Beetles have chewing mouthparts and well-developed antennae. ."
Ecoflamme's proposed facility would require 20,000-square feet of the Tembec site, and would employ up to 30 people in the processing site, with an additional 30 working to collect additional material from the nearby woodlands.
1. A small pill; a pilule.
2. A small rod-shaped or ovoid mass, as of compressed steroid hormones, intended for subcutaneous implantation in body tissues to provide timed release over an extended period of time. plants traditionally make use of sawdust sawdust
used as litter for chickens and bedding for horses. Sawdust made from treated timber may cause pentachlorophenol and other wood preservative poisoning. Fungi growing in sawdust litter in poultry houses may cause poisoning in the birds. and sawmill sawmill, installation or facility in which cut logs are sawed into standard-sized boards and timbers. The saws used in such an installation are generally of three types: the circular saw, which consists of a disk with teeth around its edge; the band saw, which residue to create their product. As a result, the Ontario government is discouraging the establishment of new plants as sawdust becomes a hot commodity for a variety of value-added projects, Brisson says. This discouraged him from his plan to open a facility near Huntsville, and turned his eye to Opasatika.
In fact, by making use of forest slash, rather than sawdust, Ecoflamme would be the first pellet producer of its kind in North America North America, third largest continent (1990 est. pop. 365,000,000), c.9,400,000 sq mi (24,346,000 sq km), the northern of the two continents of the Western Hemisphere. .
"We strongly believe the potential is there," he says. "It's going to be new, but like all new things, it takes time. We think it's going to break (open) some doors."
While Brisson tentatively says the project may begin construction within the next year or two, the company must wait on a variety of factors before committing to a specific timeline. This includes the mid-summer completion of Opasatika's mid-summer acquisition of the Tembec facility and Cyclofor's study on the local availability of biomass, as well as the Ontario government's regulatory approval for Ecoflamme to start its plant in the province.
Nadeau says such efforts can't come fast enough, as the lack of any local employers is turning Opasatika into a retirement community.
"These kinds of developments are a big, big relief for us here," he says.
By NICK STEWART
Northern Ontario Business Northern Ontario Business is a Canadian magazine, which publishes monthly in Greater Sudbury, Ontario. The magazine covers business news and issues in Northern Ontario.