Bible Hill company churning out hundreds of utility poles for Nova Scotia Power
Stella Jones pressure treats utility poles; Nova Scotia needs to replace hundreds after Fiona
A Bible Hill, N.S., company is playing a key role in restoring power after post-tropical storm Fiona knocked it out for hundreds of thousands Nova Scotia Power customers.
Nova Scotia Power is in the process of replacing hundreds of poles damaged in the storm. Stella Jones is the only company in the province that pressure-treats the wood used in utility poles.
Most of the poles are made from yellow pine brought in from the southern U.S.
The company treats other types of lumber, but right now the focus is exclusively on replacing poles damaged by Fiona.
"The spike in demand is quite significant. So far, as of this morning, we've been able to answer to every single request that was put into us," Eric Vachon, the president and CEO of Stella Jones, told CBC Radio's Mainstreet on Wednesday.
Nova Scotia Power buys 7,500 poles a year, but around 1,000 poles have left the plant since Sunday, he said.
"We're sort of hedging a bit ahead of time and making sure we have sufficient inventory to carry probably a few more 1,000 poles if need be," Vachon said.
"Unfortunately it's not the first time that we deal with storm response."
With files from Blair Rhodes