Infeed Deck Base Stabilization - Canfor Energy

LOCATION: Canfor Energy, Fort St. John, BC, Canada TIMEFRAME: January 2016 SCOPE OF WORK: Ground improvement and base stabilization for infeed deck at Canfor Energy plant. PROJECT PARTNERS: Owner: Canfor Energy, Contractor: Bid Construction Materials, Supplier: Layfield Canada

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Background Information and Challenges

Canfor Energy- Fort St John operation has challenges with ground conditions at their yard due to soft saturated soils. These condtions are magnified during the thaw in spring, and when it gets wet in the fall. A main area of focus is their infeed deck into the mill, where they have heavy equipment feeding product into the mill repetitively during the day.

During these times of the year the infeed area will start to produce large ruts, making it difficult for the operators to work at the required pace of production at the mill. This leads to increased maintenance of the area in order to eliminate the ruts causing the company both time and money. In the past they have tried other geosynthetic products to try and stabilize the area. While they tend to work for a short period of time, once the ground becomes saturated with water they are back to square one.


Layfield introduced the idea of a composite system to Canfor for the deck infeed area that would reduce rutting over the numerous load cycles. The composite system which was made up of a non-woven geotextile and Presto’s Geoweb- cellular confinement product, would confine the infill material at the top layer. The confinement of this material will reduce/eliminate rutting over numerous cycles and reduce the need for maintenance on the area. In addition the geocells also allowed the use of lesser quality infill which was also another savings to Canfor since they did not have access to a good gravel source nearby.




The infeed area was built up and the contractor installed the geotextile and Geoweb in very quick fashion. Canfor even commented that the install went quicker than anticipated and the contractor was impressed at how easy it was to install. In the end the owner was satisfied that they had tried an alternative solution to an ongoing problem with new innovative products. The next year will indicate the success of the system through potential savings in both maintenance costs and through reduced down time for maintenance.