Clearwater gives biomass contract to Enderby company

Town council will go with Fink Machines Inc. to develop a biomass heating system for the new Dutch Lake Community Center

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Clearwater logo

Clearwater town council has modified an earlier decision and will go with Fink Machines Inc. to develop a biomass heating system for the new Dutch Lake Community Center.

After some discussion at a special town council meeting held Oct. 14, the Enderby-based company was picked to convert the heating system at the former school from propane to wood chips.

Cost of the project would be up to $266,000, which would give the District at 150 kW installation – adequate to heat Dutch Lake Community Center plus the nearby RCMP detachment office – if the police decide to participate.

Mayor John Harwood pointed out that having excess capacity might not be a problem. Machines generally work better and last longer if they are not at capacity, he felt.

Staff is to determine the size of the project and the sources of funding before the project is to proceed.

An important factor in the decision appeared to be the fact that Fink was the only one of the three that has actually installed a major biomass project in B.C. – much of downtown Enderby is now heated by a Fink-installed biomass system.

Canfor is willing to provide chips, reported chief administrative officer Leslie Groulx. Wadleggers could be another source, although the chips from there would need to be kiln-dried.

Public works superintendent Ryan Papp advised against not including an air cyclone in the project. Getting a hot enough fire would be critical to complete combustion, he said, which in turn would limit public complaints about smoke.

Back in July, council had picked Western Bio-Heat of Langley as the lead proponent out of three applicants to develop the system.

However, after a review of the initial submissions, it was felt there were gaps in the information provided by all three applicants.


Two of the applicants, Fink Machines and Canadian Engineered Products of Delta, provided face-to-face meetings along with more detailed information.