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harnessing the potential of wood waste

With a goal of making full, no-waste use of the wood resource, Millar Western has made significant progress in converting wood residuals into useful products, for its benefit as well as that of the environment.

At Whitecourt, the sawmill has found uses for all byproducts of the lumber manufacturing process: wood chips are converted to pulp at the company’s own BCTMP mill and at a neighbouring newsprint facility, and wood shavings and other residuals are transferred to a medium density fibreboard (MDF) plant. Remaining wood waste is used as feedstock for a nearby electricity generation plant. Under contract with local agricultural producers, the pulp mill applies biomass, a byproduct of its effluent treatment process, to farmland as a soil enhancer.

The Fox Creek mill is the the only company facility that currently disposes of wood waste by incineration; however, we are actively pursuing a strategy that will see the operation’s wood residuals converted into energy and other products, with burner decommissioning scheduled for July 2016.


Creating value from wood residuals

1.  Softwood timber harvested from sustainably managed forests is delivered to our Sawmill, for lumber production.
2.  Sawmill residuals in the form of shavings and fines are sent to a regional Panelboard Mill, while bark and sawdust are transported to a regional Bio-electricity Plant, to generate green power for export to the Alberta grid.
3.  Softwood chips are conveyed to our Pulp Mill, for pulp production.
4.  Hardwood timber harvested from sustainably managed forests is processed into wood chips at the Pulp Mill Woodroom, for pulp production.
5.  Bark from the Pulp Mill Woodroom is sent to the regional Bio-electricity Plant.
6.  Fines and pins from the Pulp Mill are distributed either to the regional Bio-electricity Plant or to the Oil and Gas Sector for use in site remediation.
7.  Sludge, a byproduct of pulp production, is transported to local Farmers’ Fields, for use as a soil enhancer.