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Bioenergy fibre

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Bioenergy fibre
If British Columbia Minister of Forests Pat Bell has his way, the province’s bioenergy sector will have improved access to a secure supply of fibre.


January 15, 2010
By Bill Tice

Jan.
15, 2010, Vancouver – If British Columbia Minister of Forests Pat Bell has his
way, the province’s bioenergy sector will have improved access to a secure
supply of fibre.

Bell
announced two new forest policy initiatives this week. The first one, called a
“receiving licence,” will provide bioenergy companies the rights for a volume
of low-value timber or wood waste that companies would typically leave in the
forest. Volume from a receiving licence would be added to a regular licence,
which would mean the logging contractor could harvest and haul both high-grade
and low-grade logs from the same area. Bell says the details have not been
worked out yet, including how companies would bid on the receiving licences,
but he has said he wants the program to be rolled out this year.

“I think
it will really help stimulate the bioenergy industry,” says Bell. He added that
he has already seen support for the changes from both forestry and bioenergy companies.

The second
initiative Bell wants to put in place is a “stand-as-a-whole” pricing system,
which will require companies to bid on a harvest area, rather than an
individual tree. Stand-as-a-whole pricing should encourage the licence holder
to harvest more timber, including lower grade fibre needed by bioenergy plants.

Bell
expects the new pricing system will be phased in, starting in the interior,
with stands of beetle-killed pine. The new pricing system will also have to
meet the rules of the softwood lumber agreement between Canada and the United
States.


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