The Department of Natural Resources has issued an additional call for Expressions of Interest to develop the Central Newfoundland timber resource, a process that began with the closure of AbitibiBowater in 2009.
“A significant portion of the forest resource in central Newfoundland is open to development by the right proponent,” said Tom Marshall, the Minister Responsible for the Forestry and Agrifoods Agency. “Since 2009 interested parties have come forward, however we have yet to find the initiative that is the best fit for industry, government and central Newfoundland.”
The EOI process will determine the level of interest that exists for sustainable opportunities focused on new timber processing facilities.
The department allocated a portion of the former AbitibiBowater timber in central NL to two integrated sawmills that traditionally rely on saw logs from Abitibi in order to maintain lumber production levels. Crown operators who traditionally had access to Abitibi fibre and logging contractors who were dependent on Abitibi for fibre were given allocations at their historic levels.
The unallocated wood supply that is available for industry development is 280,000m3/year. This wood is identified in the 25-year harvest schedule developed as part of the most recent provincial wood supply analysis. Road access has been established to many, but not all of these areas.
“Recently, a number of reputable forest products and energy companies have contacted the department and expressed interest in the resource,” Marshall said. “Inquiries have focused on the availability of fibre and mill infrastructure to support such ideas as wood pellet plants, ethanol plants and raw pulp for export. To ensure the process is fair, it is important that we have an additional open call for those interested in submitting a proposal.”
Expressions of Interest will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. on March 28, 2013 and must be submitted in accordance with set terms and conditions. The department does not bind itself to any Expressions of Interest that may be submitted.
The terms and conditions are available on its website: www.nr.gov.nl.ca/nr/