PIC RIVER FIRST NATION – The Pic River First Nation announced today a major investment in forestry purchasing harvesting equipment which will be used to supply area mills with needed fiber. The investment totals $2.5 million dollars.
“We are pleased to announce that Pic River will be purchasing harvesters and forwarders from Ponsse. The equipment will add harvesting capacity for the region and in doing so, support area mill operations. It will create new community based jobs and support our expansion into other value added activities such as wood pellet production, sawmilling and commercial/residential firewood supplies.”, said Chief Duncan Michano.
The deal means an expansion of the Pic River Energy Corporation mandate into forestry harvesting and services. The planned restructuring signals the community’s confidence in the region’s forestry industry.
“We’ve planned for this change over the course of the past two years, some of the equipment is innovative and not widely available in North America. We were impressed with the customer support provided by ReadyQuip of Timmins, the regional dealer for Ponsse, and from Ponsse itself who put together a comprehensive package that accounted for equipment, service, and training. It was an easy decision for Council.”, added Chief Michano.
In total, the First Nation’s decision will create six forestry jobs, with added jobs created in office and administrative support. The equipment will be delivered in January 2016. Over the next eight months, Pic River will recruit and train community candidates for the operation.
“What makes this especially exciting for us is the investment is our own, this is not government funding. As a strategic investment of our energy dividends, it will support continued economic growth in the community itself. I am really excited about the new mandate”, said Byron LeClair, President of Pic River Energy.