Mackenzie Biomass Power Project
We believe one of the strengths of our company is our relentless focus on innovative new ways to get the most out of the resource that sustains us.
Early on, we saw an opportunity to create additional value for the company by generating clean energy for British Columbians through the construction of a biomass power plant that would use residual materials from our sawmill operations.
Completed in May 2015, our 36 MW bioenergy plant is located next to our Mackenzie sawmill site. It produces up to 230 gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy per year – enough to provide power to 20,000 British Columbia homes – and is sold to BC Hydro through a long-term power supply agreement.
While the majority of the timber we harvest is turned into high quality lumber products, a substantial amount of residual fibre (sawdust, chips and bark) is also produced during the manufacturing process. Similarly, not all of the timber harvested from the forest can be used for lumber (for example, tree tops, branches and low grade logs damaged by insects and disease).
These residuals used to be considered waste. Now, the clean energy produced by our biomass power plant is equivalent to taking 13,500 cars off the road each year. We are able to realize the full value of the forest fibre we manage, strengthening our traditional lumber business, and generating clean energy that contributes to British Columbia’s greenhouse gas reduction goals and the B.C. Government’s CleanBC targets.
Let’s be clear: harvesting timber from the forest land base is, by definition, what we do. But how we do it is the most important thing.
Forests provide a bounty of economic, environmental and social benefits. To us, sustainable forest management means ensuring these benefits are shared by our communities, employees and customers today and in the future. It also means that customers can be confident Conifex products come from sustainably managed and certified forests.
Conifex employs sustainable logging practices, managing the forests for multiple values, with the understanding that we are stewards of the biological diversity, recreational benefits, water, air and soil quality and other ecosystem benefits our forests provide.
Conifex operates in the Mackenzie Timber Supply Area (TSA) with an Allowable Annual Cut of 632,500 cubic metres. We also have a 50% interest in a forest licence with an Allowable Annual Cut of 300,000 cubic metres.
Our replaceable fibre licenses provide approximately 85% of our current total annual requirements, which is significantly higher than most other forest companies in British Columbia. Our remaining needs are sourced from select offerings of standing timber inventory, log trades, log sales and fibre swaps to ensure full fibre flow as and when needed.
Conifex is committed to prompt reforestation of all harvested lands with ecologically suitable stock. We plant a mixture of spruce, pine and fir to ensure future crops are biologically diverse and that forested areas remain resistant to harmful pests and disease. We plant approximately two trees for each one harvested.
Our intensive silviculture programs don’t end there. Our silviculture tracking system enables us to accurately forecast if/when a site will need treatment, what kind of treatment will be required and when to schedule our monitoring and assessments.
We manage our stands for up to 20 years, bringing them to what is referred to as a free growing state. The goal is to regrow a new forest that mirrors the one that was harvested.
Sustainable Forest Initiative
Our woodlands operations are guided by Forest Stewardship Plans submitted to and approved by the British Columbia Ministry of Forests and Range and are independently managed by the internationally recognized Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI).
Programme For Endorsement Of Forest Certification
Conifex is also committed to implementing and maintaining the requirements of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) Chain of Custody Standard PEFC ST 2002:2013. Our adherence to the PEFC Standard provides our customers and the end consumers the confidence that the raw materials of our products originate from sustainably managed forests.
Conifex Sustainability Policy
Conifex is committed to responsible stewardship of the environment. We recognize that environmental excellence, particularly sustainable forest management, is crucial to our long-term business success.