Chinese demand for wood the catalyst for Kitwanga mill re-opening

A closed sawmill in Kitwanga is due to re-open, thanks in part to the demand from China for BC wood.

A closed sawmill in Kitwanga is due to re-open, thanks in part to the demand from China for BC wood.

Speaking in Terrace yesterday, Brad Bennett from mill owner Pacific BioEnergy, said maintenance workers could be back on the job as early as May 1 with operations to start the first week of June.

He expects 60 per cent of the production will be sent to China with the remainder staying in the country.

Prince George-based Pacific BioEnergy bought the mill and am area forest licence out of receivership in Sept. 2009 to provide a base to then build a pellet plant in the area.

It now makes economic sense to re-open the mill, said Bennett.

“Our target date is June 6, basically, for reopening,” Bennett said, saying this depends on getting access to timber and getting a flow of timber to a point where it can support a plant.

This means about 45 people will be back to work, and Bennett expects this number to ramp up in time.