Ardew Wood Products unveils new, energy-efficient dry kilns at lumber mill in Merritt, British Columbia, replacing those lost in Sept. 2010 fire
MERRITT, British Columbia
July 26, 2011
– Ardew Wood Products Ltd. is ready to turn a new page and put a bad chapter behind them, said owner Erik Norgaard.
On July 21, Norgaard cut a ribbon unveiling the wood product company’s new dry kilns, which have replaced the kilns lost to fire Sept. 14, 2010.
With the Ardew employees gathered for coffee and donuts, Norgaard assured them that the new kilns had a great track record.
“[Muhlbock] has built 10,000 units all over the world and never lost one due to its own fire,” he said. “That’s the best result of any drying kiln manufacturing company we’ve encountered.”
He also thanked his employees for their work during the last ten months.
“I’d like to say thanks to the whole team and everyone who helped us accomplish this,” said Norgaard. “These are great looking kilns.”
On Sept. 14, 2010 a fire broke out at the Ardew Wood Products plant in their dry kilns and the fire department responded around 7 p.m. Norgaard said that it seems likely the cause was a malfunction in the control room of one of the kilns.
Luckily the fire did not spread to other structures on the property but even so, he said the fire took the wind out of their sails.
Prior to that Norgaard said that Ardew and the rest of the forestry industry was feeling the effects of the world’s economic downturn and downsized the company as they struggled to find customers. In the end of 2009 they worked on a plan to achieve more sales and were just starting to realize their goals when the fire occurred.
“After that we started drying off site, we readjusted what we were doing and looked after customers and sales so we’d be ready to go again,” said Norgaard.
With the new kilns in place, he said Ardew Wood Products is ready to move ahead again.
Besides having a good track record of being non-flammable, Norgaard said the new kilns are designed to produce the best quality of lumber and are the most energy efficient.