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

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

Interior Health reported 91 new COVID-19 cases in the region Jan. 20, 2021 and three additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
95 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health, two deaths

Another member of Vernon’s Noric House has passed

Clearwater Times editorial by Stephanie Hagenaars
Before we go patting ourselves on the back…

It’s been over a week since the United States Capitol was rushed… Continue reading

No one was injured when this 1989 Plymouth occupied by two young women burst into flames as they were travelling northbound on Highway 5 just after 2 a.m. This image originally appeared in the Jan. 23, 1996, issue of the Times.
25 Years Ago: No injuries in Highway 5 vehicle fire

Back in Time: A snapshot of history

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Police in Vancouver looking for male suspect who allegedly spat and attacked a store manager for not wearing a mask, at 7-Eleven near Alma Street and West 10th Avenue just before noon on Dec. 17, 2020. (Vancouver police handout)
VIDEO: Man spits on 7-Eleven manager over mask rule, sparking Vancouver police probe

‘Unfortunately, the store manager sustained a cut to his head during the assault’

The Vancouver-based SAR team successfully rescued two lost snowshoers off of the west side of Tim Jones Peak in the early morning of Monday, Jan. 19. (North Shore Rescue photo)
B.C.’s busiest SAR team raises alarm after 2021 begins with fatality, multiple rescues

‘People beyond ski resort areas of Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress go without cell reception,’ SAR warns

Police are searching for an alleged sex offender, Nicole Edwards, who they say has not returned to her Vancouver halfway house. (Police handout)
Police hunt for woman charged in ‘horrific’ assault who failed to return to Surrey halfway house

Call 911 immediately if you see alleged sex offender Nicole Edwards, police say

A screenshot from a local Instagram account video. The account appeared to be frequented by Mission students, and showed violent videos of students assaulting and bullying other students.
Parents, former students describe ‘culture of bullying’ in Mission school district

Nearly two dozen voices come forward speaking of abuse haunting the hallways in Mission, B.C.

Vaccine rollout is focused on health care workers first, especially those dealing with long-term care facilities. (Nathan Denette - Canadian Press)
General public shouldn’t expect vaccines until fall: Interior Health South Okanagan Similkameen

Interior Health focused on vaccinating long-term and first-line care workers

Most Read