The OPC plant upgrades are intended to address new regulatory requirements for safe storage and management of wood pellets and ensure the plant complies with National Fire Protection Association and BC Fire Safety code.
The OPC has entered into a new credit facility with the Royal Bank of Canada for $875,000. The Lease line will be used, in conjunction with OPC cash flow, to fund the first two phases of the upgrade.
The first phase is underway and will provide for a separation of the two main production lines, pellets and shavings, so they can be operated independently. This phase, which is expected to take 8-10 weeks during which production will be suspended, also includes substantial improvements in the wood dust management system to ensure continued compliance with the increasingly stringent safety guidelines for the wood industry, implemented in British Columbia.
The second phase includes the addition of new, semi-permanent tent structures for the safe storage of wood fiber. The storage systems will substantially increase OPC’s fiber capacity and include the de-commissioning of the current storage building, improving production efficiencies.
The third phase of the upgrades will include the addition of a new pellet press and state-of-the-art dryer that will expand the facility’s capacity by approximately 50%. Planning for the third phase will begin in 4Q 2015.