sign

Alberta Biobord Corp. recently hosted a virtual open house from Stettler

The company plans to develop a fuel pellet and medium density fibre board (MDF) plant near the community

A virtual open house was recently hosted by Alberta Biobord Corporation to further provide details about plans to develop a fuel pellet and medium density fibre board (MDF) plant near Stettler.

According to a release, “The company has signed a land purchase agreement on a full quarter-section situated in Stettler County that has excellent highway and railway access and is sufficient in size and layout to meet all development requirements.”

“Our vision statement is quite simple – ‘Alberta Biobord Corporation recognizes straw residues as a valuable resource that is currently under-utilized in Canada,” said George Clark, president and CEO of Alberta Biobord.

“And basically, what we recognize, is that straw truly is Alberta’s carbon advantage,” he continued.

“I also want to point out that although this is our first open house-type of engagement, we have all been engaging with local residents and councils, administrators and potential business partners for several months to bring our potential project plans forward.”

He also mentioned that one of his early meetings in town was with some staff from the Stettler Learning Centre.

“We went in there specifically to let them know that we are looking forward to working with them in helping to develop additional skillsets from under-employed area residents,” he explained.

”We will be putting out that information and working with them to ensure that any of their clients who are looking for skill upgrading will basically have a list of the employment opportunities as they are coming up well in advance. They can then position themselves to be good candidates for employment with us, whether that be in the construction phase or for permanent employment,” he explained.

Officials say interactions overall have been very positive as well, including with all levels of government.

“There has been this constant stream of information as we try to keep everybody engaged in the process, and in all aspects of what we are looking to complete. It’s all about ensuring that everybody in Stettler and area is comfortable with what we are up to, and are hopefully interacting very positively.”

Lorne Murfitt, director and VP of community outreach, said it’s exciting to be bringing a project like this to the community.

“We have a highly-skilled workforce all around us – 176,000 people live within an hour of Stettler. It’s a great central spot for straw production in every direction, and we are also lucky to also have great railway and highway access.

“We have highways running north, south, east and west and we’ve chosen to proceed now because the market for fuel pellets continues to grow.”

According to a release, such a pellet mill facility can be designed, built and commissioned on a fast-track schedule, producing first pellets fall of 2021.

Hundreds of jobs are expected to be created directly and indirectly as the entire project takes shape. The County will also benefit from significant tax input, officials say.

“We also believe that these permanent jobs will attract new residents with housing needs, and give a nice boost to the town and county of Stettler and the surrounding area.”

Murfitt said the new site would be right along Hwy. 56 which will take a lot of traffic away from town.

“There will be less than 20 truckloads a day because of our custom trailers with high capacity,” he said. “Plus, we are going to use the access road – Range Road 392 – which will definitely limit any inconvenience for residents and Highway 56 traffic,” he said.

Clark agreed.

“Stettler is also a great area for people to live a good life, and I would like to point out that the dollar amounts shown in phase one, phase two and phase three are only part of the total investment,” he said.

“Having full transport loads is going to help us achieve a reach of straw acquisition that is larger than most would have anticipated,” Clark said.

A Stettler office was also recently opened and Clark said the feedback has been positive.

Earlier this year, Clark had explained how Stettler was proving to be an ideal place for the facility, what with a large base of workers for both construction and operation within a 45-minute radius of the community.

“The last thing I want to end up doing in any rural Alberta community is building a large factory facility which is literally bringing in a large outside workforce and ignoring the opportunities and the potential of local residents to transition into the job offers that we have at hand.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

If you're heading out to the West Country have a plan in case things go wrong, says Clearwater Regional Fire Rescue Services fire chief Steve Debienne.
(Photo from CRFRS Facebook)
West Country visitors should have an emergency plan: regional fire chief

Cellphones can’t be relied on in many back country areas

Rode
Sarcevic leads an impressive list of additions to RDC Kings soccer

In 2019 the RDC Kings soccer program took a major step forward… Continue reading

The Red Deer PCN Women's Fun Run will take on a different look this weekend with rising COVID-19 numbers.
Women’s Fun Run goes ahead this weekend in Red Deer

With new public health measures in place because of rising COVID-19 case… Continue reading

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw asked Albertans to limit travel throughout the province as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer nears 900 active COVID-19 cases

Province reports additional 2,211 COVID-19 cases

David Eggen, the NDP’s advanced education critic, said the UCP government has been focused on cutting funding to post-secondary institutions across Alberta. (Contributed photo)
NDP worry new status for Red Deer College doesn’t mean more funding

This week the province announced that RDC will become a polytechnic institute

Alberta Health Services locked the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror on Wednesday morning after owner Christopher Scott refused to comply with health orders. (Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff)
UPDATED: AHS shuts down Whistle Stop Cafe for defying health orders

Justice minister promises to get tough with those ignoring public health orders

Wizards beat Raptors in OT, Toronto playoff bid nearly over

Wizards beat Raptors in OT, Toronto playoff bid nearly over

Toronto Blue Jays' Teoscar Hernandez (37) hits a single to drive in two runs against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Grichuk drives in 5, Jays beat A’s 10-4 for series split

Grichuk drives in 5, Jays beat A’s 10-4 for series split

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame 2019 inductee Jayna Hefford speaks in Toronto on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Three Canadian teams to play in women’s hockey Dream Gap Tour in Calgary

Three Canadian teams to play in women’s hockey Dream Gap Tour in Calgary

Rugby Canada says some members of women’s sevens team have tested positive for COVID

Rugby Canada says some members of women’s sevens team have tested positive for COVID

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson, centre, makes a shot as lead Briane Meilleur, left, and second Shannon Birchard sweep against Denmark at the Women's World Curling Championship in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, May 6, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Einarson’s five-game win streak ends with loss to Japan at world curling playdowns

Einarson’s five-game win streak ends with loss to Japan at world curling playdowns

FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2020, photo, the Olympics rings are reflected on the window of a hotel restaurant as a server with a mask sets up a table, in the Odaiba section of Tokyo. The vaccine rollout in Japan has been very slow with less than 1% vaccinated. This of course is spilling over to concerns about the postponed Tokyo Olympics that open in just over three months.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Canadian athletes, coaches applaud news of vaccine doses ahead of Tokyo

Canadian athletes, coaches applaud news of vaccine doses ahead of Tokyo

Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals pressed to ease access to EI parental leave to help unemployed moms

Liberals pressed to ease access to EI parental leave to help unemployed moms

Katie Telford, Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister, appears as a witness via videoconference during a House of Commons finance committee in Ottawa, Thursday, July 30, 2020. The Canadian Press has learned that Katie Telford has written members of the defence committee inquiry into allegations of sexual misconduct against Canada's former top military commander, offering to testify at their meeting Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
PM’s chief of staff offers to testify on Vance sexual misconduct allegations

PM’s chief of staff offers to testify on Vance sexual misconduct allegations

Most Read