Ledcor Forestry Turns Wood Waste into Renewable Energy

June 7, 2015

For decades, wood debris was considered a waste by the forest industry and left in heaps on the forest floor. During the winter months these slash piles would be burned, contributing significantly to poor air quality and pollution. Fortunately, awareness is now on the rise in BC regarding the ecological and economic value of wood waste and research is being conducted on how to effectively harness this value. Ledcor has become an industry leader, through its Biomass Operations, in focusing on environmental sustainability and full utilization of standing timber in BC forests. 

Ledcor continues to work to solve the residual waste issue by working closely with licensees, private land owners, and other industry partners who share a common goal of eliminating pollution from forest operations. The wood waste that is usually burnt is instead now removed and manufactured to provide jobs, sustainability, and clean energy for clients, such as Howe Sound Pulp and Paper where it’s burned to produce electrical power. Below is a video that outlines the unique supply chain process of our biomass product. WATCH the video on our YouTube Channel (will open in new window.

To transform these slash piles into a finished product, Ledcor’s grinding sites consist of four key elements: Feedstock, Support Equipment, Grinders and Transportation. Using a log loader, operations teams load the wood debris from the slash pile directly into a grinder. The feedstock is manufactured into a finished four-inch minus dry fiber which is loaded from the grinder conveyor directly into awaiting trucks. Once loaded, the trucks haul the fiber from the bush to a barge reload facility on the coast in Mission BC.

Located on the Fraser River, Ledcor’s reload facility has been strategically designed to fully support our customers’ requirements so that we are able to provide just-in-time inventories, minimizing cost and maximizing energy value of our fuel source. The finished fiber provides end users with the highest quality fuel, generating the most energy for their consumption. 

The fiber mix, stored at our reload, is then loaded onto Ledcor barges and sailed by Ledcor’s marine fleet to the end user. This last stage, facilitated by Ledcor’s marine division, concludes the full supply chain process “stump-to-dump” that Ledcor Resources & Transportation innovatively provides industry clients. 

The logging slash is generally secured at a low cost for the taking, however the logistical challenge of getting it to market in a cost efficient way remains. In order to continue successful operations and use the waste to produce a high value product, Ledcor must be able to get consistent access to the material. We continue to work with the government and other key industry partners toward collective solutions to eliminate pollution, provide jobs, and create a clean and renewable energy source benefiting a host of end users.