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New Mission business cleans up wood waste

A new wood pellet manufacturing facility wants to make use of wood waste and cleaning up the air.

There are many mills in the Fraser Valley with residual woods that have low value to the producer, explained Paul Adams, operations manager for SMG Wood Pellet Inc., a subsidiary of SMG Asset Canada, that will be owners of the new facility, if approved.

The leftover material is usually stored in large piles which sometimes self combust, creating air quality problems, or it is brought to the landfill to decompose while releasing methane and carbon dioxide into the environment.

The wood bits can also be shipped to pulp and paper or cement operations, but don't provide value to the producer, said Adams.

SMG plans to create pellets with the wood waste for the European and Asian markets where they will be used in place of coal to heat residential and commercial buildings.

Similar plants have traditionally been criticized for poor practices leading to air quality issues, but Adams said his company's operations will be industry leaders and will be using state of the art equipment to not impede air quality.

"Everything will be under cover," he explained, adding a dust-proof conveyor system will not release any particulate from the process.

After the material chipped, it will be dried using high efficiency, low emission driers, and pressed into pellets.

"It's a very clean process," said Adams, noting the pellets are compact and ideal for shipping. "We want to create a showcase facility for wood manufacturing in B.C. It will be the first of many plants globally."

The operation is proposed to run seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

SMG's facility will be located on industrial land on Broadway Avenue and will complement some other wood residual businesses that are already operating in Mission, according to a District of Mission staff report by Mike Younie, director of development services.

Coun. Jenny Stevens said she initially had concerns, but everything she has read so far supports the business.

"All reports indicate it would be beneficial for the environment," said Stevens.

Mission Mayor Ted Adlem also threw his support behind the project and was impressed with the company's commitment to work with the district.

"They're brining high paying jobs to Mission," said Adlem. "And they're trying to be good corporate citizens."

The company is working on obtaining an air emissions permit from the Ministry of Environment.

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