The U.A.E. will receive a $1.6 billion contract from the Corps of Engineering for construction of the first-of-its-kind timber processing facility for timber from Eastern Canada, the Army Corps announced Thursday.
The project is intended to provide additional jobs in the region, which has been hard hit by a wave of timber fires in recent years.
“We are very pleased that the Corps has awarded a contract for timber processing in Eastern BC, which is an important project that will create new jobs and provide a much-needed boost to the region’s economy,” said Gen. Brian Bittles, assistant secretary for economic development.
“This project will also provide a strong economic boost to BC’s timber industry, which supports approximately 7,000 direct and indirect jobs in Western BC.”
The UAC has been trying to boost the economy of the region by increasing logging capacity.
Last year, the UAC awarded $1 million in federal funding to help boost logging capacity in Eastern Canadian forests, with more than $700 million expected to be earmarked by 2020.
The Corps’ project is the first of its kind in Western Canada, said Col. Stephen Clements, acting chief of the U. A.E.’s Army Corps.
“It is a great win for the UAEC and a great step forward in enhancing our economy in Eastern B.C.,” he said.
“The U. As a company, we are excited about this project and are committed to continuing to invest in our industry.”
The $1-billion project will be built on land that the UAAEC owns in the remote area known as the Eastern Wood Rattlesnakes Reserve.
The reserve sits on a ridge, where it has been prone to frequent fires, and is home to some of the most dangerous rattles and red foxes in the world.
The UAAEA has been seeking to increase logging capacity on the reserve, which it has managed for nearly 50 years.
The timber processing plant will employ 5,000 people, according to the Corps.
About 500 employees will be trained to handle the timber, which can be harvested from the reserve and shipped to other locations.
Construction will begin next year and the project will have a five-year life span, according the Corps’ release.
The company will be located at a site in the area near a major highway, where construction will start next spring.
The first of the company’s timber processing plants will be expected to have been completed by the end of the 2020s.
“These projects are a win for Eastern BC and for U.
As forestry sector in general,” said Stephen Stoddart, president of the Eastern B:C.
“They will be a tremendous boost to our local economy and will further support the ongoing efforts of our government to support the local forestry industry.”