The 150 year old Hefler Forest Products in Sackville, Nova Scotia, accumulated over $30 million in debt and went under creditor protection in 2016, but the 3.1 megawatt biomass power plant it operated remained profitable. Prospective buyers wanted to separate out the biomass operation but, according to an article by James Risdon in the CH (July 27, 2017), in the end were forced to buy all of the assets. The new owners (since April), Katalyst Wind and Hawthorne Capital have retained the family name. The President of the reborn Hefler Forest Products is Stan Mason of Katalyst Wind.
While the sawmill remains idle, the new owners have made expensive improvements in the biomass plant and are “looking for ways to put its kiln to good use, including for the production of thermal wood”, making use of steam from the power plant.
The article reports that “the company’s star performer right now is the power generation plant” and that another biomass plant could be in the works.
Although the company is not divulging the exact revenues generated by that power plant, Hefler’s top exec did say it operates at 60-90 per cent capacity and brings in 17 cents per kilowatt hour. That would mean annual revenues of between about $2.8 million and $4.1 million for Hefler Forest Products from the power plant alone…Mason, whose Katalyst Wind manages wind farms producing roughly 30 megawatts of electricity in Nova Scotia, isn’t ruling out the possibility of building another, similar biomass plant to produce green energy somewhere else in the province.
Read more in the CH: Hefler clawing its way back from the financial abyss (July 27, 2017)