According to Canadian newspaper, Terrace Standard, Skeena Sawmills is spending CAD$10 million (US$7.76 million) in its first phase of extensively modernising the sawmill in Terrace, British Columbia, Canada, a shift that will allow the mill to harvest second growth timber.
The renovations and upgrades have already begun, with the mill purchasing a high-speed canter saw for small logs and allowing it process second growth timber, which is smaller in size – second growth forests typically yield trees with diameters between six to eight inches. Presently, the smallest logs the sawmill is capable of processing are ten inches in diameter.
“This is part of a complete overhaul of the plant. It’s one step…and the first step has got a budget of $10 million,” Roger Keery, vice president of operations at Skeena Sawmills, said, before going on to explain that the complete project with take several years to complete. “It will depend on the scale of change we determine is required.”
Modernising the entire mill could cost as much as CAD$100 million (US$77.62 million), though the amount also depends on the changes Skeena Sawmills decides on and the factors influencing those decisions include wood supply in the long term, lumber markets, and timber characteristics.
But the immediate upgrade was necessary as Skeena Sawmills was originally built only to process larger, old growth timber, and needs to adapt for the smaller second growth timber.
“The facilities that have are unsuitable for processing second growth wood in large quantities, and the smallest logs the mill can effectively process are ten inches in diameter. Once the second growth timber becomes a significant portion of our volume, we much change our facilities to accommodate that,” Keery said. “Right now, we are restricted by size and we can only take a percentage of the second growth wood. We want to be able to take all of it…so that people can sell us lots of timber and we can efficiently process all of it, not just the larger material.”
Source: Terrace Standard