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REPORTING · 13th July 2010
Walter McFarlane

July 6th in Kitimat. The Riverlodge community room was jam packed with people eager to learn more about the Eurocan buy in. There were two speakers remaining. Representing the Ministry of Forests was the District Manager of the Kalum Forest District, Barry Dobbin.

Dobbin explained Councillor Randy Halyk had invited Premier Gordon Campbell as well as his Cabinet Ministers to attend this meeting. However, they were unable to attend because they were in Caucus. Dobbin took their place.

Dobbin gave the history of the Forest Coalition. In March 2009, Forest Minister Pat Bell came to the North West and met with forest licences to a meeting in Terrace. The minister proposed pooling the fibre volume to try and attract business to the Sacred Circle.

So far, 14 investors including the Eurocan Viability Committee have approached the Coalition. Bell came to Kitimat to meet with Mayor and Council, the Union and Chamber of Commerce.

“He heard the same thing through out the whole day, the groups that were here wanted to have their own viability study to access the feasibility of the mill,” said Dobbin.

He explained the Ministry of Forests and the Ministry of Community Development supported the study with all the other groups. The Forestry Coalition agreed they would provide pulp logs in the case they can find a new investor.

The Model would require 17000 cubic metres of pulp logs to run the operation. The pulp logs would be brought to Kitimat for the Mill while the saw logs would have to find a different market until they could be processed here.

He suggested there are other investors looking at the logs but they have agreed to hold onto the volume in the hopes this project is successful.

“There is a lot of hope that the model which goes forward will be creating other spin-offs. Some of the other investors I mentioned want a smaller volumes with a smaller degree at a much lower cost. They just want the waste logs. We can’t give access to something like that unless the rest of the industry is already operating and there is a lot of activity in the area to make those valuable so this would create other synergies and benefits for the whole northwest we look forward to as well,” concluded Dobbin.