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

Vivid Tours is launching its 12 Days of Kindness Campaign in support of family organizations in Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)
Kelowna’s Vivid Tours gives back to the community this holiday season

The wine and beer tour company is raising $15,000 for three non-profit organizations

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
The Christmas tree at Rutland’s Roxby Plaza stands tall in the sun on Dec. 1. It’s a sign that the holidays are just around the corner. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Christmas arrives in Rutland

The Christmas tree in Roxby Square is now lit up for everyone to enjoy

The scene of a serious crash on Highway 33 in Kelowna that killed one and severely injured two others on June 20, 2018. (File)
Trial begins for driver accused of fatal 2018 Highway 33 crash in Kelowna

An officer who pursued the vehicle said he saw the occupants of the car ejected upon impact

Jessie Simpson’s mother is asking for Christmas cards to cheer her son up this holiday season. (Sue Simpson - Facebook)
Kamloops mom asking for Christmas cards for son severely injured in a 2016 assault

Jessie Simpson was beaten with a baseball bat in 2016 and now lives in a long-term care facility

The BC Northern Real Estate Board is supporting a call to halt open houses during the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)
Okanagan-Shuswap real estate boards merging to form 13th largest association in Canada

Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board and South Okanagan Real Estate Board becoming one

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Grapevine Optical was the victim of an early morning break and enter Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2020. (Crime Stoppers Okanagan / Facebook)
Collection of designer sunglasses stolen from South Okanagan eye-wear shop

Crime Stoppers is seeking the identity of two male suspects

By this time next year, the BC Green Pharmadeuticals cannabis growing facility in Princeton is expected to employ at least 150 people, according to the owner. (File photo)
Princeton cannabis plant thriving despite lawsuit and bad press, says owner

Company expects to hire 30 more employees in the next two months

Interior Health said its new toll-free line will help people connect to health-care services. (File)
Interior Health expands toll-free line to improve access to community care

By calling1-800-707-8550, people can be connected to several health-care services

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

Most Read