Raj and Sheila Basran and their partner Garry Hayes have announced their plans to re-open a plant to produce split rail fencing and bark mulch under the company name of BKB Cedar.
The plant, located just outside the western boundary of McBride, was built about 10 years ago with what was, at the time, brand new and state of the art equipment. However the plant operated just 18 months as Lamming Cedar Mills before being mothballed when a downturn occurred in the local market. Thus the 12,000 square foot plant has all the equipment needed to process cedar products for a market that is currently underserved.
The Basran’s say it will take 6-8 weeks to clean up and prepare the plant for modifications required for the newly upgraded WCB standards. The new owners are looking for a six to seven person crew to do the preparatory work beginning almost immediately; they expect to employ 15 people once fully operational.
Gary Hayes who has a long history of sales experience in this industry has indicated that significant orders are available once they get things rolling and is very optimistic that the plant can do well. He claims he has a number of verbal orders both for bulk and bagged bark mulch as well as significant orders for split rails
Raj Basran will look after the log acquisition and transportation of logs to the new mill along with shipping of the finished product. The raw logs have been arranged through McBride Community Forest. Basran also noted that they had been involved in preliminary discussion with a number of former or current industry employees who are more than willing to move back to the Robson Valley once the plant is up and running.
“There is significant market upside currently,” said Tom Ryan who formerly ran the TRC Mill on the southern edge of McBride, “And I have every expectation that the new mill can be successful.”