Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 21, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Where are Prices Headed Now?

Tree Frog Forestry News
February 21, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Two wise old (business) owls are commenting today on recent price trends. Referencing Random Lengths, Paul Quinn (RBC Capital Markets) highlights the stronger OSB prices “in all regions” and “aggressive” mill quotes by SYP mills. Comparing the last few weeks of “whopping price increases” to the period just prior to the implementation of US duties back in 2001, Russ Taylor (Wood Markets) surmises “the impact of pending duties are now built into the market“.

Professional Reliance—the practice of accepting the decisions of professionals who accept responsibility for them—has given industry too much control and “amounts to deregulation and less government oversight”, according to a story in the Tyee today. Although the BC government and most professional associations agree—notwithstanding its challenges—that relying on professionals is more efficient and results in better governance, it’s a common boogeyman for those opposed to resource development. The counter argument being that industry hired professionals “should not be decision makers for matters involving the weighing and balancing of multiple, often competing, environmental and societal values.

An alternative approach to professional reliance—used prominently in the US—is under full display in Missoula. According to an article in the Great Falls Tribune, two conservation groups filed a lawsuit Friday in US District Court challenging a project that puts “industrial logging ahead of taxpayers and protecting public land”.

— Tree Frog Editors

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Business & Politics

US lumber priced soar, creating huge uncertainties

By Russ Taylor
International Wood Markets
February 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Impact of Pending Export Duties Now Built into the Market; Where are Prices Headed Now? The U.S. lumber markets are already seeing some major price volatility, where W-SPF lumber prices soared by a whopping 25% (US$78/Mbf) in the three-week period between January 27 and February 17, 2017 and up US$83/Mbf over the previous five-week period. This three-week price increase in U.S. lumber prices is one of the largest short-term gains over the past 20 years. This is mirroring a similar scenario back in early 2001 when countervailing duties (CVD) on Canadian lumber shipments into the U.S. moved into their 90-day retroactive period in mid-May 2001 and the anti-dumping duties (ADD) followed later. The initial combined duties of 32.3% were both in effect in November, 2001… This was followed by two major price collapses over the next six months.

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The Continuous Danger – what we learned last week

By Paul Quinn
RBC Capital Markets
February 20, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Highlights: Random Lengths (RL) reported that SYP prices were up $22/mfbm to $476/mfbm while W.SPF increased $2 to $389. For SYP, mills raised quotes aggressively while buyers backed away after addressing much of their spring needs. …OSB prices were stronger in all regions. …RISI reports that most major North American containerboard have now announced a $50/ton price increase on linerboard and corrugating medium for mid-March. In addition, many of the larger producers also announced increases of 10% on boxes and 12% on sheets for the same effective date. …RBC’s Lumber & OSB Conference in Toronto on Wednesday, March 29. We highlight a SLA/NAFTA keynote presentation by Colin Robertson, a former diplomat and currently VP and fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. 

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Blame pulp mill power failure for that weekend stench in Kamloops

By Cam Fortems
Kamloops This Week
February 20, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A complete power failure on Saturday at Domtar’s pulp mill on Mission Flats Road caused a release of total reduced sulphur gas that added up to emissions numbers typically seen over an entire year. Domtar officials acknowledged the unplanned power outage for about 2.5 hours late Saturday afternoon was the cause of smell complaints. It caused venting of the distinctive total reduced sulphur (TRS). While unpleasant, it is not considered a health concern. The Ministry of Environment received complaints from as far as Valleyview. Ralph Adams, an air quality meteorologist with the ministry, said yesterday the release caused a maximum reading of 8.6 parts per billion of the pungent gas measured at the downtown federal building.

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Fixed exchange rates an easy fix to Canada-US trade relations

By Robert McGarvey
Troy Media
February 20, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON, Alberta—Canadians have expressed relief that the US President Donald Trump only wants to “tweak” trade relations with Canada and not rewrite our portion of the North American Free Trade Agreement. This is partly pragmatic, since trade between the US and Canada is huge, worth upwards of $540 billion in 2015. …What is it about Canada that makes our trade seem fair from Trump’s perspective? …So the structure of our capital systems is similar. Differences between our economies are presumed to be in entrepreneurial skills, in the presence or absence of natural resources, or in the capacity to innovate. …Nevertheless, difficulties remain, irritating disputes that could and should be resolvable. 

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Stetski calling on Liberal government to protect forestry jobs

Nelson Daily
February 20, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s no secret the Canadian forest industry is a little nervous when it comes to not having a Softwood Lumber Agreement in place after it expired in October, 2015. Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski is calling on the Liberal government to ensure that BC’s forest industry is protected after the expiry of the Softwood Lumber Agreement with the United States. “We are calling for loan guarantees for softwood producers that would help provide certainty to the tens of thousands of forestry works in British Columbia,” Stetski said in a media release. Stetski and the 13 other New Democrat MPs from British Columbia are concerned that the Liberal government does not have a Plan B in place in case the United States brings duties against Canadian products, they are calling for federal loan guarantees for softwood lumber producers.

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Taking a stand in forestry

By Ian Ross
Northern Ontario Business
February 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada


The tenacity to stay the course and get their fair share of the economic benefits from natural resources has allowed a group of First Nations to gain ground in the Kenogami Forest. Recently, the fledgling Ginoogam Development Corporation was allocated 200,000 cubic metres of softwood lumber this year and 250,000 cubic metres next year on the northwestern Ontario Crown forest management unit, which falls within the traditional territories of Aroland, Long Lake #58 and Ginoogaming. For John O’Nabigon, the corporation’s president, having control of such a sizeable wood supply allows them to leverage opportunities to participate with industry on an equal footing. “We felt it was in our rights, not only as citizens but within our Aboriginal rights, to share in the economic benefits with the resource we have. We’ve never given up pursuing that.”

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Red Rock Indian Band and Resolute celebrate partnership

By Resolute Forest Products
The Chronicle Journal
February 20, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Red Rock Indian Band hosted a public event to celebrate their partnership with Resolute Forest Products with the signing of a 5-year commercial agreement on Wed., Feb. 15, 2017. This event took place at the newly constructed administration office in Red Rock Indian Band, Ontario. The 5-year commercial agreement represents a formal commitment to identify and pursue new economic opportunities, commercial investments as well as to establish a collaborative process with respect to forest management planning for woodlands managed by Resolute. Chief Ed Wawia has been instrumental in the oversight and implementation of this agreement. 

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Forest Products Employees Hit Capitol Hill To Share Local Impacts Of Legislation And Regulations

By The Pulp & Paperworkers’ Resource Council
PR Newsire
February 17, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States


WASHINGTON — American workers employed in the U.S. forest products industry visited Washington, D.C., this week to meet with members of Congress and administration officials. Their goal was to educate officials on the impacts of legislative and regulatory decisions on the environment as well as the families and communities that depend on forest products manufacturing for their livelihood. The Pulp & Paperworkers’ Resource Council (PPRC) is a grassroots organization of hourly employees in the forest products industry who educate on issues that affect American manufacturing jobs in their industry. During their three days of meetings, 73 PPRC members made 544 legislative and administration visits, including the office of the Vice President.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

UNBC co-hosting international conference on wood construction

By Mark Nielsen
Prince George Citizen
February 20, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

For more than two decades, the annual HolzBau Forum in Germany has attracted thousands of experts in wood construction and has spawned HolzBau conferences across Europe. Now the University of Northern British Columbia is helping bring it to North America. A version will be held at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver this Thursday and Friday. And UNBC has been designated the host for next year’s edition. Dr. Guido Wimmers, UNBC’s chairman for the master of engineering in integrated wood design program, is familiar with HolzBau from his days in Europe. He was born in Germany and holds a doctorate in building science from Leopold-Franzens University in Innsbruck, Austria. …”We’re beyond the phase where we just have to promote that we can build bigger things out of wood,” Wimmers said. “Now we’re entering the phase where we have to go down to the nitty-gritty and understand how to do it.”

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Forestry

New Website Celebrates Women in Wood

Women in Wood
February 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Women in Wood (WIW) was created to bring together passionate women from across Canada to share their love for the woods. Whether you work in the woods, with wood, or for the woods, WIW provides a networking opportunity to help you find mentors, seek career advice, or meet other passionate women. Co-founder, Lacey Rose explains why they formed this new collaborative effort, “Depending on where you work, or in what part of the forest sector, you might be surrounded by like-minded females, or you might be the only one. I have spent my career in rural environments, and am typically one of the only women in the room, and sometimes the only person under 50 years old.” And so, with partner Jess Kaknevicius, they created this new site with a “goal of bringing together women from across sectors including forestry, woodworking, arts, urban forestry, arboriculture and conservation to learn from each other and look for opportunities to grow one’s career or passion.” Check it out!

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WorkSafeBC fines tree faller

Prince George Citizen
February 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

WorkSafeBC has levied a fine against one of the firms contracted to fall trees in the effort to contain the spruce beetle. OBO Forest Management GP Ltd. was levied a $2,500 penaly in November, according to a WorkSafeBC posting, after the agency inspected the work of two employees and found several regulatory requirements had been violated. “Sufficient undercuts had not been made, undercuts were not complete or cleaned out, holding wood was not maintained, and backcuts were not higher than the undercuts,” WorkSafeBC said. “Felled trees had been allowed to brush standing trees, and safe escape routes had not been prepared.

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Boreal forest starting to bounce back from Fort McMurray wildfire

By John Cotter
Canadian Press in CTV News
February 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — The drumming of black-backed woodpeckers is a sure sign the boreal forest is slowly bouncing back from the devastation caused by last spring’s wildfire near Fort McMurray. Woodpeckers are busy in the roughly 5,900-square-kilometre area in northern Alberta that was torched. The birds gorge on bugs that have been attracted to dead and dying trees. Flames that killed birds and animals or forced them to flee have created conditions for different species to flourish. … There are other signs of regeneration across the fire-scarred region. Lush, green shoots from aspens, the predominant tree species in the area, have burst from the burned soil and are a metre high in some areas.

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As Darby Allen moves on, Fort McMurray names new fire chief

CBC News
February 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As the man who led the battle against ‘the Beast’ moves on, Fort McMurray has named its new fire chief. Jody Butz, assistant deputy chief for regional emergency services, will become the new fire chief for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Butz, who fought last May’s ferocious wildfire from the front lines, will take over the position on Feb. 27. The announcement comes after outgoing chief Darby Allen, 59, announced his retirement in December. Friday will be his last day on the job. …For his part, Allen said it’s time to step back and spend more time with his family. He said his wife, Maria, has osteoporosis and frigid northern Alberta winters have been tough on her. Allen, who has two sons in their 30s, said he’d always planned to retire at 60 and will leave his job about five months ahead of that milestone birthday.

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Another Wild West Show? BC’s Regulatory Experiment with Professional Reliance

By Andrew Nikiforuk, journalist with a focus on the energy industry
The Tyee
February 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

You’ve probably never heard of a regulatory fad called “professional reliance.” Yet this decade-old experiment with environmental regulation now dominates every aspect of resource development in the province, including contaminated landfill sites, forest assessments, dam safety and shale gas development. …The government said the scheme would save money and result in better governance. But a growing body of critics, including B.C.’s Auditor General, the B.C. Ombudsperson, and the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Centre say that’s not what is happening in practice. …After interviewing scores of professionals including foresters and engineers, Mark Haddock, author of the report and now counsel for the Forest Practices Board, concluded that PR frequently “became a rationale for less scrutiny of material submitted by proponents by government.” Professionals told Haddock that the practice resulted in conflicts of interests that government often ignored and encouraged an erosion of expertise in the public service.

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Does this moose stand a chance?

By Joseph Hall
The Toronto Star
February 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

They’re not likely to join polar bears on climate change posters — just yet. But moose — equals of the beleaguered Arctic ursine as Canadian icons — are rapidly losing ground to a warming climate, many experts fear. “Hopefully we won’t see (a poster of a) moose on the isolated patch of forest left,” says Julee Boan, a program manager for Ontario Nature in Thunder Bay. …The latest provincial estimate pegs the moose population in Ontario at around 92,300 – down from a high of 115,000 early last decade. …Murray also points to increased logging, again made easier by warmer temperatures, as another potential cause of moose declines. Not only do more northerly operations further fragment moose habitat but they also supply hunters and wolves with easier access to their quarry, he says.

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Public forests should not be private resource

By Bob Bancroft, biologist who chaired the Department of Natural Resources science panel in 2009-10
Chronicle Herald
February 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

In his Opinion piece (All tree loss isn’t due to clear-cutting, Feb. 11), Marcus Zwicker is far from forthright about the current state of forests and forestry operations in Nova Scotia. Nor is he laying out his financial interest as the manager of WestFor, a consortium of 13 mills that recently received management and cutting rights on 1.4 million acres of Crown land. This lease came from top public servants in the N.S. Department of Natural Resources with no public consultation. Much of this public land was a purchase from the Bowater Mersey company in 2012 at a cost to taxpayers of $111 million. The land is not being managed in the public interest. Rather, the trees and wildlife habitats will be liquidated to create private profits. Leases and stumpage rates paid by industry to government for this wood are secretive and based on a quota system. No third party checks the actual harvests.

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Message from the presidents: Emissaries for the environment

By Kathy Abusow, President and CEO, Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Treehugger
February 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

President’s Day can be a good time to reflect on the issues that are important to us and re-commit to taking action. For the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), there is one core issue with many aspects: standing for the future of forests. SFI works with local, state, federal, and tribal governments throughout North America, developing partnerships to conserve forest resources, protect wildlife habitat, and implement responsible forestry practices. This President’s Day, get inspired by a few of SFI’s favorite quotes from forest-defending presidents and a message from SFI’s president and CEO.

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Dead trees equal healthy forest ecosystem

By George Wuerthner, an ecologist from Bend, Oregon
Monterey County Herald
February 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In recent months, the media and Forest Service have reported with alarm that there are over 100 million dead trees in the Sierra Nevada, implying that forest Armageddon is around the corner. However, from an ecologist’s perspective, what the dead trees mean is that our forest ecosystems are very healthy and adapting to current climatic conditions. The frenetic observation that millions of trees have died in the southern Sierra Nevada fails to acknowledge this is a perfectly natural response to the ongoing historic California drought. Forests are functioning as they should to limited water by naturally thinning their density. The death of some trees will allow survival of those with unique genetic resistance to drought and beetles, and even wildfire.

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Otter seeks to intervene in federal logging lawsuit

By Keith Ridler
Associated Press in The Idaho Statesman
February 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BOISE, Idaho – Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has asked to intervene in a lawsuit involving an environmental group and the U.S. Forest Service over a proposed logging project. Otter filed the paperwork Thursday in U.S. District Court to assist the Forest Service. …Otter said that he’s seeking to make sure the state’s interest receive adequate representation. “This is a prime example of the type of project contemplated and authorized by the Idaho Roadless Rule,” said Jim Caswell, chairman of the Idaho Roadless Commission. “The Orogrande Project will not only have several important short-term benefits, it will also improve the overall roadless characteristics of the area over the long term.”

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Conservation groups sue Forest Service over logging project near Lincoln

Great Falls Tribune
February 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Two conservation groups filed a lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court in Missoula challenging the Stonewall Vegetation Project in the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest six miles northwest of Lincoln in the Lincoln Gulch Drainage. In the lawsuit, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Native Ecosystems Council contend the project violates big game security and thermal cover standards, violating federal laws and threatening elk, grizzly bears and lynx. “Once again the Forest Service is showing that they put industrial logging ahead of taxpayers and protecting public land,” Mike Garrity, executive director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies.

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Timber Companies Sue Over Cascade-Siskiyou Monument Expansion

By Vickie Aldous
Oregon Public Broadcasting
February 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Two lumber companies filed a lawsuit Friday challenging the legality of President Barack Obama’s expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument during his last days in office. Murphy Co. and a related company, Murphy Timber Investments LLC, filed the complaint in federal court in Medford against President Donald Trump, acting U.S. Secretary of the Interior Kevin Haugard, the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management. The new administration could choose not to defend the lawsuit. “The monument expansion is already having an immediate impact,” said Murphy Co. President John Murphy. “The Griffen Moon Timber Sale within the expansion area that was scheduled to be sold this summer has now been withdrawn without any replacement timber sale. The sale would have generated in excess of $500,000 for Jackson County.”

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Florida Forest Service develops app to monitor wildfire activity

WFLA
February 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. —As rescue officials work to contain what’s left of a Polk County brush fire, the Florida Forest Service has rolled out a mobile app to help the public access more information on wildfire activity. “FLBurnTools,” helps residents monitor wildfires, providing real-time drought information, interactive fire maps, wildfire information, smoke dispersion models and weather forecasts. It also allows prescribed burn practitioners to plan and submit authorization requests. “Wildfire activity is on the rise and wildfire danger is expected to increase greatly in the coming months,” said Jim Karels, Florida State Forester. “Floridians equipped with the ‘FLBurnTools’ app can view the locations of nearby wildfires and see up-to-date drought and wildfire danger information.”

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Mackinnon Report on tree planting in Scotland

By Graeme Leith, Brodies LLP
Lexology
February 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Since the early 1990s’ the lack of commercial tree planting in the United Kingdom has been a major concern to the forestry sector and downstream industries including sawmilling and timber sales. Annual conifer-tree planting (the main commercial crop on which the timber industry depends) fell around four-fold in the decade since its high in the mid-1980s, and has fallen further since. Despite that there has been heavy investment in the sector and it is now lauded as modern, innovative and extremely important to the country in terms of job creation, but also for the economic, social and environmental benefits that forests provide. 

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Can we have too many trees?

By Patrick Barkham
The Guardian
February 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

…I grew up enjoying the bare majesty of the Lake District. Our treeless uplands are, to me and most other people, completely normal. In times of bewildering change, in everything from politics to the climate, we cling to normality. This must be why Mountaineering Scotland has allied with its normal foe, the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, to criticise the Scottish government’s plan to increase the country’s forest cover from 17% to 25% by 2050. The gamekeepers fear losing their normal business of deer stalking and grouse shooting. The mountaineers fret that tourists enjoy Scotland’s normal landscape and not “miles-long wanders through woods”, as Neil Reid from Mountaineering Scotland put it. …Trees aren’t intrinsically good. Covering another 8% of Scotland with lifeless industrial blocks of non-native plantations won’t meet government goals of enhanced landscapes, richer wildlife or more jobs.

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Paradigm shift in forest safety is no surprise to some

By the Forest Industry Contractors Association
Scoop.co.nz
February 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The leading professional group for loggers in New Zealand says big improvements in forest safety are no surprise – they’ve been focused on change for 3 years. Forest Industry Contractors Association (FICA) president Ross Davis says new technology and culture change have had a real impact in forest workplaces. Davis says, “Many of our member contractors have been working closely with safety coaches and innovative engineers in the forest. Real changes in safety are now clear with people communicating better in our crews. Also, mechanised harvesters are making steep slope harvesting much safer.” Davis says the change in the forest contracting industry has been in collaboration with both forest owners and brokers whose leaders understand the intent of our new health and safety laws.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Quebec providing $12.7 million for climate change research

Canadian Press in the Montreal Gazette
February 20, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Quebec is providing $12.7 million over three years for climate change research through the Ouranos consortium. The announcement was made Monday by three Couillard government ministers in the offices of Ouranos in downtown Montreal. The funding is intended to finance applied research projects on how best to adapt to climate change. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions will not be enough, Ouranos officials said. They added that we must also find ways to live with the impact of climate change on our infrastructure, agriculture, and economic development….With the financial support received, Ouranos will be able to carry out some of the work that was already in the planning stage, such as mapping the risks of forest fires in mid-northern Quebec with forestry partners.

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Steam powers new source of revenue at Daventry biomass plant

Bioenergy Insight Magazine
February 20, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A biomass site, based near Daventry, Northamptonshire, UK, is using Heliex GenSet technology to turn the steam produced in its steam-raising biomass boiler into electricity. The Pedigree Power recycling site, operated by Silvertree and developed by Larch Group, is converting up to 25,000 tonnes of waste wood per annum into a green source of power. The company said it has also been able to provide heat to its 30,000-tonnes wastewater processing plant, after using the Heliex Gen set. …Generating up to 0.7 megawatts of electricity each day, depending on the amount of wood burned, Heliex Power’s 580 kWe system will be twinned with one of its 103 kWe machines at the facility. The former is the largest system the company has sold to date, with the combination of the two machines providing investors with a quick return on capital invested.

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