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.

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

Just Posted

UPDATED: Tofino-Ucluelet highway to open from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday before shutting down for 24 hours

Vehicles will be screened at the Tofino/Ucluelet junction and at Sproat Lake.

UPDATED: Ucluelet and Tofino mayors call for “calmness” and “empathy” as highway closure cuts communities off from supplies

Ministry of transportation expects to open road for “essential travel only” from noon-8 p.m. Friday.

Tofino shakes up emergency notification service

“You can download maps and it has more functionality.”

Dylan Green set to launch B.C.’s first ride-hailing app in Tofino

The Whistle! app will be available in Tofino on Feb.1 and in Whistler Feb. 6.

Women take centre stage at NHL all-star skills competition

Canada beat the United States 2-1 in a spirited 3-on-3 game between female players Friday night

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

B.C.’s oldest practising lawyer celebrates 100th birthday, shares advice

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Most Read