The long-awaited wood pellet mill in Enterprise is another step closer to reality.

Aurora Wood Pellets has issued a request for proposals to have someone harvest the wood from the future site of the mill.

Hay River Mayor Brad Mapes has been working on this plan for six years, and is the principal shareholder in the company.

He says the mill could help revitalize the economy in the region.

“I want it to happen for our community but also the surrounding communities of the South Slave,” says Mapes.

“There’s really not much happening for the Fort Resolution and Fort Providence areas.”

Mapes estimates the plant will directly employ 50 to 75 people once it’s built, and indirectly employ at least that many people around the region in wood harvesting.

The pellets are used for heating, and are often made from waste wood and bark from forestry operations. But Mapes wants to produce “a premium product” that will come from the solid cores of trees.

He says he doesn’t anticipate a lack of demand, and says there has been a large amount of interest from overseas, including South Korea.