Interfor’s co-gen power plan shortlisted by BC Hydro

International Forest Products Limited (Interfor) is one step closer to its plan of a co-generational power plant in Grand Forks.

On Thursday, Interfor’s VP and Chief Forester Ric Slaco told the Grand Forks Gazette that its proposal had made it to the next round of BC Hydro’s Bioenergy Phase 2 call for power.

“Late last week, (BC Hydro) announced that we have been selected to the preferred proponents list, so we have been shortlisted,” explained Slaco.

“In terms of the number of people that have submitted proposals, we’re on a list for the next stage.”

Slaco said that the next step of the process will see BC Hydro scrutinizing each of the proposals and it is something Hydro will guide.

“There would appear to be enough merit in (the plan) to proceed with the next step, which is a more in-depth look at the proposal itself; any updates that may have occurred, regarding any of the issues, and whatever further evaluation they believe is necessary,” said Interfor’s VP.

Interfor is set to meet with BC Hydro shortly but Slaco said that a definitive date had not been set – at least as of Jan. 27 – and he estimates it will take place within the next two weeks.

“They will provide us with feedback and we’ll provide them with any updates and we’re anticipating to also find out what other requirements may be necessary,” said Slaco when asked what would happen at the meeting.

“We’ll find out a little bit more at that point and a little bit more about the process.”

He said that there are five other proponents on the short list, some with multiple projects and eight projects in all. The other projects are located in communities such as Prince George, Chetwynd, Fraser Lake, Burns Lake, Fort St. James, Merritt and Vancouver Island.

Back in late-October, Interfor made the proposal for the co-generational power plant during BC Hydro’s call for power.

The plant would use heat to generate electricity, with wood waste being used as fuel, and it could provide power to the grid.

Interfor’s VP told the Gazette in September that employment on site could increase by an estimated 10 per cent if plans for the co-gen plant and a proposal to modernize the mill go ahead – the two were designed to be complimentary.

“It’s a very positive move for the company in terms of being on this preferred list,” Slaco said.

“We’ll see where it goes from there.”

Slaco said that there weren’t updates for the proposal to modernize the mill and it remains under review.