Alongside the announcement that Canfor has completed the acquisition of the Elko and Canal Flats sawmills, Canfor has also re-iterated their announcement of $50 million in capital investments in their “southern BC mill facilities,” over the next few years.
While no funds have been earmarked for any facility in particular, one of the potential benefactors is the sawmill in Radium. Canfor is currently in the process of developing a capital plan for the region that will be presented to the board in a couple months, according to Canfor Director of Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Christine Kennedy.
“We’re in the process of deciding which facilities will be receiving those funds,” she said. “No decisions have been made.”
While where the funds will be allocated is yet to be determined, there is one major roadblock for the Radium mill to overcome before it can become economically viable, according to Kennedy. Currently, the mill would use propane to heat the dry kilns, and thanks to the high cost of propane, Kennedy says that this cost accounts for about 20 per cent of operational costs for the mill, as opposed to 5 per cent for most others.
“One of the key things in looking at Radium, as far as a potential capital investment site, is a wood residual energy system,” Kennedy said. “That would be an absolutely necessary part of making that mill viable.”
More to follow in Wednesday’s edition of The Echo.