The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting travel restrictions have impacted our final construction schedule. However, we are still on track to complete construction in late spring and begin start-up this summer.
Our general contractor and equipment suppliers have all demobilized, and we have brought in local contractors from John Day, Bend, Medford, and Hermiston. With the support of our local contractors, our crew is working hard to complete unfinished tasks, including the conveyor installation, wiring, and controls. The work on-site will continue, and we have implemented the appropriate social distancing and hygiene requirements to keep everyone safe. For the time being, we have eliminated all tours and outside visitors that are not related to our construction or critical business.
We continue to seek qualified applicants for our open positions and will be maintaining our existing workforce during the COVID-19 situation. We will get through the current health and economic crisis and continue to work to achieve our mission to provide a market for low-value wood and support the forest restoration and management activities of the US Forest Service and private landowners.
Our thoughts are with our employees and their families as we work to keep them safe and employed. We are working with business and community leaders in our areas to determine how we can help the City of John Day, Grant County, and the surrounding areas. We will get through this crisis stronger together, and we look forward to starting operations as soon as possible.
Restoration Fuels is a torrefaction facility co-located with the Malheur Lumber Company in John Day, Oregon and surrounded by the beautiful Malheur National Forest. We use tree thinnings and low-value wood materials primarily coming from stewardship projects in national forests to produce environmentally-friendly fuel for energy.
Across the western US forest health is declining. A century of wildfire suppression and management has left our forests increasingly vulnerable to the threat of disease, infestation, catastrophic wildfire, and the effects of climate change.
Reversing the trends of increased wildfires and declining forest health requires increasing restoration treatments. To do this requires markets for biomass - thinnings, branches and other woody materials that come from sustainable forest management.
In developing a new renewable fuel production facility we will provide a new market for biomass that supports forest restoration while integrating with existing business and infrastructure. In addition, we are creating economic opportunities for the communities with which we work.
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