Pinnacle Renewable Energy’s wood pellet shipping facility at Prince Rupert. (The Northern View)

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

Japan’s major buyer for B.C. wood pellet fuel has increased its contract with Pinnacle Renewable Energy to 100,000 tonnes per year, a bright spot for B.C.’s troubled forest industry.

Pinnacle, with production facilities across the B.C. Interior, signed a new contract Thursday with Mitsui and Co., which uses the wood pellets to fire a new biomass energy project in Japan. The contract was signed at a ceremony in Vancouver, with representatives of the companies and Premier John Horgan.

“Contracts such as this will allow Pinnacle to expand operations, to hire more people and to build the type of British Columbia that we all want,” Horgan said.

“It means that we can take the wood waste that used to sit on the forest floor and lead to some of the wildest fires in recent memory, and we can take that fibre and put it to useful economic benefit.”

Pinnacle CEO Robert McCurdy described it as “an exciting day” for the company’s work in “bringing green energy to the world.” The agreement was signed by McCurdy and Fumiaki Miyamoto, CEO of the Canadian division of Mitsui and Co.

“In order to build trust we keep our word, and we always look for a win-win with our stakeholders,” Miyamoto said.

RELATED: Pinnacle pellets feed hungry Japanese energy industry

RELATED: Second Japanese company makes deal with Pinnacle

Pinnacle signed a deal with Mitsui in April to sell 70,000 tonnes per year, shipped through its export facility at Prince Rupert. Japan has worked to diversify its energy supplies since a devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011 destroyed its nuclear plant at Fukushima and led to curtailment of nuclear power. It is also a major importer of liquefied natural gas.

Pinnacle began operations as Pinnacle Feed and Pellet in 1989, with its first plant manufacturing pellet fuel from sawmill waste in Quesnel. It began operations in Williams Lake in 2004, Houston in 2006 and Meadowbank (Hixon) near Prince George in 2008.

Burns Lake production began in 2011, and its Westview pellet export terminal at Prince Rupert began operation in late 2013. Its Lavington mill, partnering with Tolko in the North Okanagan, started in 2015.

The company went public in 2018, and soon after began a redevelopment of its Smithers pellet production facility in partnership with West Fraser Timber. That began production in late 2018.

Pinnacle added a facility in Entwistle, Alberta in 2018, and later that year entered the U.S. southeast region by buying a 70 per cent stake in a pellet plant in Aliceville, Alabama.

In September, the company advised shareholders it was feeling the effects of the forest industry downturn.

“Despite positive production gains at the Smithers and Aliceville facilities, the company’s same-facility production in the third quarter of 2019 was down over 14 per cent compared to the third quarter of 2018, primarily as a result of the sawmill curtailments,” the company said in a statement.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Courtenay Hero Wall gives thanks to frontline workers

People wanting to thank frontline workers in the Comox Valley can add… Continue reading

Comox Valley Transition Society available for women who need help throughout pandemic

“We anticipate more women than usual will access our resources, but we do have plans in place.”

Clothing store in Courtenay closes doors after 23 years

Trousers owner Shelley Greenup says the time was right to say goodbye

Hip tradition sing-along planned again for Canadians April 2

The Tragically Hip’s Paul Langlois is encouraging all to join him virtually in a’Porch Session.’

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

Comox Valley grocers going extra mile during coronavirus

We have had numerous requests to post a fluid article directing consumers… Continue reading

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Park users concerned about tree cutting in Comox conservation area

During a recent visit to the Northeast Woods in Comox, a woman… Continue reading

Most Read