By Rod Link
Loads of lumber arriving by train from interior mills are being placed in containers bound for Asian markets at a facility now in operation on the waterfront right below the Oceanview.
The load out facility is the result of a partnership between the Metlakta Development Corporation and the Lax Kw’alaams.
Lumber is taken off the rail cars, placed in containers on trucks and taken to the container port for loading onto ships.
Wayne Drury from Coast Tsimshian Resources, which is owned by the Lax Kw’alaams, and which is managing the project, said it came together rather quickly in conjunction with CN.
“It turned out they were thinking the same thing,” said Drury of the relationship with CN.
“Quickload has a facility like this on Watson Island but that’s for lumber arriving by truck,” said Drury.
Most of the lumber is headed to China and Japan.
Railcars being unloaded one morning last week consisted of kiln-dried 2 X 4s of 8, 12 and 16 feet in length of spruce, pine or fir from a mill near Burns Lake.
“What this is is creating an opportunity for the use of containers and as a business, there’s more employment in the northwest,” said Drury.
An initial workforce of three will grow to 10 or 12 as business grows.
“We’ll do $1 million to $1.5 million in the first year. It all helps the economy,” said Drury. “We see this as the opportunity. It’s a seed of something new.”
Work under the supervision of CN involves construction of a loading dock, improving drainage and building up the surface of the work area.