BKB Cedar Mill back in operation

Allan Frederick
Allan Frederick photo
Allan Frederick photo

“It has been a long haul but now we’re running again,” stated owner Raj Basran during the interview with Allan Frederick for The Valley Sentinel.

Last year in early April a major fire destroyed Basran’s mill, shutting him down, but not out completely.

Over the past 11 months Basran, together with dedicated employees Brice Littlechild and Kelly Stevens, have been able to do a lot of the work needed to clean up the mill site and help rebuild the operation.

Basran indicated that if he could have afforded the higher cost, he could have possibly been in operation within two to three months, but that would have meant hiring outside contractors to do most of the work. 

The mill is operational with one line and Basran is presently running one full shift of eight, five days a week, plus another night shift of only three presently with hopes of having two complete shifts operating in the near future.

The major clients Basran has been supplying his product to have been patient, and orders for this year should be filled with the two full, planned-for shifts. The high cost of equipment for a second line would almost make it too expensive a venture at this time.

Office duties are being carried out from home, but there are plans to have an office on site soon. 

Allan Frederick photo
Allan Frederick photo
The fibre supply that BKB Cedar needs for this year of operation is in the yard, primarily due to the fire and shut down for the last 11 months. Of the fibre supply, Basran estimated that 25 percent was from the local McBride Community Forest corporation and the remainder was acquired through the BC Timber Supply bidding process. 

Basran indicated that without the help of Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond and her team, as well as major support from the McBride area community, the rebuild and future of BKB Cedar would not have happened.

BC Timber Sales has come through with the opportunity for the bidding on blocks which includes a lot of cedar fibre, and have committed approximately 10,000 cubic meters every second year. 

Products are again post and rail as well as bulk mulch as the mill has not yet installed a mulch bagging operation.

Basran’s optimism about plans for the future and moving forward were obvious during the interview.