A Northern Engineered Wood Products (NEWPRO) particleboard facility is filing a permit amendment to become a wood pellet manufacturing plant.  Particleboard production has been halted at the Smithers, BC, plant since January 2014.

Although not typically required when reducing emissions, a full consultation report will be submitted to the Ministry of Environment Aug. 3, said Rebecca Martin of SLR Consulting, who is overseeing work on the plant. News reports of the application say it shows the switch will result in 94 percent decrease in total particulate matter, from 432 to 26 tonnes per year. Modeling was done to predict the emissions levels. 

Martin said NEWPRO’s use of the best available control technology will make the facility a new provincial standard for wood pellet plants. Among the upgrades to be made are state-of-the-art dryers.

When it reopens, the plant will bring an estimated 30 full time jobs, and 10 contractual jobs to the area, Martin added.