Canadian Biomass Magazine

Features Harvesting Sustainability
From Forest to Fuel


August 25, 2009
By Bandit Industries

Topics

As the North American housing market fights to stay alive during these tough economic times, some Canadian loggers are rolling with the punches and taking advantage of environmental incentives from the government to stay ahead of the game.

As the North American housing market fights to stay alive during these tough economic times, some Canadian loggers are rolling with the punches and taking advantage of environmental incentives from the government to stay ahead of the game.

IMG_5039(1)  
The model 3680 Beast Recycler used by
Henson & Tregonning Logging is equipped with a 700-hp Caterpillar
engine and a chipper knife system.


 

Founded in 1960 with just a dozer and a skidder, Henson & Tregonning Logging in Sault Ste. Marie emerged as one of Ontario’s largest logging and slashing operations.  They also earned their place as one of the primary producers of pulpwood and saw timber for one of Sault Ste. Marie’s largest manufacturers, St. Marys Paper Corp.  St. Marys Paper produces 240,000 tons/year of supercalendered paper and is participating in the Ontario Combined Heat and Power III electricity request for proposals, with the plan of constructing a new cogeneration facility at the mill.

The wood-fired power plant at St. Marys Paper currently consumes about 450 tons/day of wood.  One-third of that, about 150 tons, consists of wood waste generated in its mill yard.  The new cogeneration development at St. Marys would require an additional 750 tons/day of wood, material that Henson & Tregonning would be happy to provide.

To provide for St. Marys’ growing needs, Henson & Tregonning began to look into new markets in which to grow as well – markets that would hopefully sustain their business for the next 50 years.  They found their niche in August 2008.  With the purchase of their first model 3680 Beast Recycler, Henson & Tregonning Logging transformed what was primarily a logging company into a booming biomass fuel producer.

Henson & Tregonning founder Barry Henson saw an opportunity to expand his operation and use more than just the log.  Adding the Beast to their equipment line-up was the first step.

“A majority of the fuel we produce from the logging slash and tops is going into a wood-fired power plant for St. Marys to produce heat and steam for the paper-making process,” explains Vance Henson, Barry’s eldest son.  “The paper mill is extremely happy with the high-quality fuel we are producing.”

Yard-Mill(1)  
St. Marys Paper Corp. in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, currently consumes about 450 tons/day of wood.  With the installation of a new cogeneration plant, this could jump to 1200 tons/day.  Photo: St. Marys Paper Corp.


 

Vance attributes the quality of their chip to the new knife system for the Beast Recycler.  This new system, developed in early 2008 for the emerging European wood energy markets, converts existing Beast Recyclers into whole-tree chippers by exchanging traditional cutterbodies for cutterbodies with knife inserts.  Henson’s model 3680 is equipped with a 700-horsepower Caterpillar engine with 30 knives and counter knives and a thrower attachment for loading chipped material into open-ended trailers.  This system allows the Hensons to produce a high volume of screened, dimensional chips that are ideal for wood-fired power plants.

In addition to processing their own logging waste, the Hensons recently began a project in a 3000-acre burned-over jack pine forest to recover charred trees to assist in reforestation.  The material is cut with feller bunchers, skidded to the logging roads, and fed tree-length into the Beast by an excavator.  The Hensons plan to replace the excavator with a more conventional loader with grapple because of the brittleness of the burned material.

“It’s difficult to keep the Beast fed to its capacity with our excavator,” says Vance.  “Right now, we’re easily loading a 53-foot trailer with biomass in under 30 minutes.  If we could keep the material feeding, we could probably load the same trailer in 20 minutes or less.”

When chipping green wood, a full 53-foot trailer carries a 32-ton payload.  With the dry, burned material, a trailer carries around 20 tons of high-BTU fuel.

Henson & Tregonning are not unlike many in today’s forest industry.  It is becoming increasingly popular – and profitable – to become involved in joint ventures that use logging slash and other forest waste products as a source of renewable energy. •

This article was provided courtesy of Bandit Industries.


Print this page

Related



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*