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Pacific Fibre Tour

BY SUSAN SCHMIDLIN

Large hopper bins

CSWA members had the chance recently to tour the Pacific Fibre Mill just out of North Plains. It is the mill site that you can see to the south as you travel on Highway 26 to and from Portland. The tall hopper bins are most noticeable with massive log decks out beyond the hoppers. Paul Hadaller and Rob Vance led the tour.

Pacific Fibre Products has three whole log chipping facilities, located in Longview, WA., Molalla, OR and North Plains, OR. They supply wood chips to Nippon Paper and West Rock Paper, both in Longview, WA, and Georgia Pacific Paper in Wauna, OR.

After seeing the basics outside, we were ushered indoors to see the operation from every angle with the use of live camera feeds throughout the facility. Safety first with quality control are constant requirements of this busy mill. With 30 log truck loads a day and six million board feet of logs on site at any given time, it is hard to imagine that there are no large dump bins of refuse created during the manufacturing cycle. There is no refuse. Every bit of the log is used in some capacity for commercial use. They process wood waste/bark and log yard debris into ground covers and soil mixes. PFP’s motto is: “Nothing Beats Reliability in Products or People!”

Portable Chipper

From this angle the chipper looks anything but portable, but that is exactly what it is. The entire unit on this platform is on wheels, and they are prepared if there is a malfunction that could close the whole mill. Everything would grind to a halt if the chipper were to fail. A backup unit is sitting a few hundred feet away and ready to be slipped into place at a moment’s notice.

Large conveyor shafts move the product either up into the large hoppers or underground to be sorted for the other products.  While we were at the facility, the chipper was shut down for a short period while the sharpened blades were replacing the worn ones inside the 10-foot diameter circular chopping wheel. It took efficient workers less than a half hour to dismantle and replace the sharp steel blades that are the heart of the operation so the chipping could resume.

Chips to the paper mills supply 50% of revenue.  Bi-products make up the other 50% and include a variety of products.

See Pac-Fibre Tour, page 7 for more of the story  September 2019 Forest Forum.

Master Woodland Managers Program:

Washington County has many small woodland owners who have qualified to become Master Woodland Managers under the OSU Extension MWM program. These MWM’s have received training in woodland management science and technology, and are available to serve as volunteer mentor/advisors to other woodland owners.

To receive the services of a MWM, contact Amy Grotta at 503-397-3462



Last updated: September 4, 2019 at 17:39 pm