The mill continues to be upgraded on the inside, electrical installations and hydraulic components continue to updated. Much of the heaviest and biggest components are installed. At this time the focus has transferred on to the details and operations of each component. Start up be for actual testing will be near the end of the month.
A blue metal building was erected over the mill in December and work continued inside protected from the elements. Each component is examined and upgraded as required.
Swift Current Services Ltd. is installing the electrical systems within the mill. All electrical and hydraulics components are being updated to meet new regulatory and Worksafe BC standards. The Board of Directors and staff are excited for the economic future to the forest sector in this area. It has been at least twelve years since the closure of the mill which had been a major employer in the area. With careful planning the Board and Management are bringing back manufacturing to the community. The people of Valemount and the community can feel confident that this mill will soon be operational. It is expected to hire 15 to 17 mill jobs; strengthen and diversify the local economy. The VCF during this construction remains debt free with careful allocation of finances. Once operational the VCF expects VIP mill to gain financial independence and success with future product lines, to the economic benefit of whole the community.
The Valemount Industrial Park LP purchased a sawmill from Prince George. The mill is complimentary to existing fibre markets and will target large diameter wood for specialty markets and value-added products. Hauling of the around 60 loads of mill equipment was delivered to the industrial park in April 2020, utilizing mainly local lowbed and highboy services. Construction started in May and has been continuous throughout the year with specialized contractors, engineers, skilled workers and labourers to facilitate the placement of the large foundations and big mill components.
review ‘Job Postings’
At this time the Management is planning for start up in June. Applications for mill workers are being accepted. PLEASE review posting for a Mill Manager.
Logyard and Scales
The scales are calibrated and certified annually. Norscale checks and certifies the VCF scale. The scales at this mill are older, heavy duty and mechanical, these scales are in good shap, built on solid ground and are certified.
Modern electronic scales by comparison are and have an expected life expectancy of about 10 years
Simpcw Resource Group utilizes the scales as they are storing some of their wood waste from the Transmountain Pipeline Expansion Project on site.
The Valemount Community Forest uses the industrial park to sort and store logs. The log yard has been able to supply logs for value added products in the Robson Valley. These logs are usually hand scaled and graded to accommodate the small volumes and unique demands for local and specialty mills. The weigh scales are experiencing the busiest year 2021 with local log delivery and departures to buyers.
The largest challenge for the Valemount Industrial Park remains the infrastructure. The original infrastructure had suffered dearly from neglect, freezing and thaw cycles plus gutting of wire for copper content. The Board and Management continue to upgrade, review options for the infrastructure such as the water system and three phase electrical power. Future plans includes a fire suppression system.
The VIP continues knapweed control in 2021, mapping specific areas; staff hand pulls and hires a contractor for accumulated plants. Leasees on the industrial park can feel confident that there is seasonal monitoring and continual reduction of the evasive species.
The VIP management over a five year period has controlled the horrid knapweed problem that came with the industrial site. Lessees can feel confident that this noxious weed monitoring program will continue and help reduce the spread of the noxious weeds.
Noxious weeds remain an issue through out the industrial area of Cedarside, the Village of Valemount and in areas around Tete Jaune Cache. It is the hope of the VCF/VIP to review and revitalize a control program in conjunction with Northwest Invasive Plant Council.
The VIP currently has lessees that are occupying portions of the industrial park. Some are active year round and some active only at certain times..
Cedar Valley Holdings Ltd.
BC Stone Corporation
Simpcw Resource Group
Robson Valley Gourmet Mushrooms
Treasures of the Forest
Valemount Learning Centre
Clear Stream Energy Services
Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project
VIP in Review
In 2014, the VCF with the Board of Directors and two staff worked on expansion and purchased the ‘old mill site’ with financial support from Northern Development Initiative Trust and Columbia Basin Trust. The whole site was renamed the Valemount Industrial Park. In 2019, the original Valemount Community Forest split into two companies – one to manage the community forest operations and the other Valemount Industrial Park for industrial land management.