Designing material handling systems for use in extreme northern environments requires special care.
In late June 2010, the Canadian federal government announced plans to phase out older coal-fired power plants to cut the country’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Draft regulations are expected in early 2011, with final regulations in effect July 1, 2015.
For operations that get biomass straight from the forest, the first step in the supply chain is deciding how to collect and transport the leftover slash from logging or thinning. Efficient slash handling can be difficult because the material varies in shape and size and lacks density. In an effort to make slash recovery cost effective while maintaining a clean, high-quality product, three machines are going where none have gone before: into the forest.
British Columbia is abuzz with bioenergy. Of the 68 municipalities, 103 First Nations, and numerous rural settlements in the region of the mountain pine beetle (MPB) epidemic, not many are ignoring the possibilities of turning “beetle wood” into pellets, direct heat, and/or electricity – and at the same time, into profit, jobs, and hope.
Payette National Forest, ID – In August 2008, the U.S. Forest Service provided a well-attended demonstration of woody biomass chipping and hauling using newly developed equipment.
“We have blazed a lot  of trails here,” says Wayne Mercer, Western Canada manager of fibre supply for Tembec, an integrated forest products company.
“Our operations are a little bit different,” admits Robin Barrett of Barrett Enterprises with a smile, as if the 22-year-old forwarder-mounted Bruks chipper working over his shoulder weren’t a clue enough.
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