Montreal's EACOM Timber Corporation said it's investing $8.9 million in a new dry kiln for its Elk Lake sawmill.
In an April 15 news release, the kiln will allow for continuous drying of lumber, reducing production bottlenecks and energy consumption. It becomes operational in the fall.
The company said the new system will eliminate the use of diesel fuel and propane, currently being used as part of the energy mix for heating the sawmill buildings and two kilns. The transition is being made for all building heat to be powered by direct-fired natural gas.
“This significant investment in Elk Lake is a testament not only to EACOM’s commitment to technological innovation and being best-in-class, but also to our long-term vision for this region," said EACOM president-CEO Kevin Edgson in a news release.
"Built over 50 years ago, this mill has thrived alongside the community thanks to sustainable forestry practices, and now, with this latest addition, we are confident it will be an important partner for many more years to.
“The pandemic and subsequent demand for our essential products highlighted the need to fast track some of these investments and maximize our production capacity," said Edgson. "We are proud that the fibre we harvest sustainably around Elk Lake is turned into homes for families across North America, as well as paper, cardboard, sanitary masks, and is even used in medication."
The sawmill employs 140 on the site and 210 more in woodlands operations.