Emissions from Cantimber Biotech’s facility on April 29, 2016. AV NEWS FILE PHOTO

Emissions from Cantimber Biotech’s facility on April 29, 2016. AV NEWS FILE PHOTO

Port Alberni cans Cantimber carbon processing plant

The ill-fated wood biotech company never got off the ground due to environmental issues

Cantimber Biotech—the wood based activated carbon manufacturer located on the Port Alberni waterfront—has officially been terminated.

The Port Alberni Port Authority (PAPA) announced on Thursday, May 31 that their Licence of Occupation with Cantimber Biotech Inc. has been terminated.

Cantimber set up shop in one of the Port’s storage warehouses after achieving an agreement in May 2015 to create and operate an activated carbon manufacturing facility.

READ: Year in Review 2016: Cantimber

Cantimber’s goal was to utilize wood waste that remains from area logging operations and turn it into a value-added commodity product used for many environmentally-beneficial activities, such as water filtration and natural fertilizer. Much of this wood waste is burned off every year, harming the local air shed.

However, concerns about potential adverse air quality and health impacts arose during the company’s operational commissioning trials, including odour and poor air quality in the area caused by a cracked valve, resulting in the ceasing of operations in June 2016.

Golder and Associates was hired by PAPA to conduct a study of the mill’s operations, and a 146-page report from the evaluation issued a list of 21 recommendations for Cantimber to consider before they could start up operations again.

Despite reports last year that the mill was getting closer to restarting operations on the waterfront, PAPA announced this Thursday (May 31) that Cantimber was unable to meet the requirements to operate. PAPA and the company have mutually agreed to terminate the licence of occupation.

The facility will be dismantled and assets made available for sale in accordance to due process, according to PAPA.