Pinnacle secures three-year fibre supply agreement for Williams Lake facility
In Canada, wood pellet major Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc., (Pinnacle) has announced that it has entered into a three-year fibre supply agreement with Alkali Resource Management Ltd (ARM) whereby ARM will process, store and deliver biomass from harvest residuals to Pinnacle for use at its Williams Lake facility in British Columbia (BC).
Alkali Resource Management Ltd (ARM) is the forest management company wholly-owned by the Esk’etemc Nation, whose traditional territory is south of Williams Lake. Pinnacle and the Esk’etemc Nation have been collaborating to improve fibre utilization and to support economic development within Esk’etemc managed forests.
The Agreement will help support not only the forest activities of the Esk’etemc, but also helps support harvesting and hauling contractors engaged by ARM. This is a positive development at a time of ongoing impacts of the sawmill closures and curtailments experienced in the region, commented Gord Chipman, Manager of ARM.
Upgrades in progress at Williams Lake and Meadowbank
Earlier this year Pinnacle announced that it was investing an estimated CA$34 million in plant upgrades at its Williams Lake and Meadowbank facilities. The upgrades which include the installation of new low-temperature fibre drying and air filtration equipment, and improvements to access infrastructure, will allow the two facilities to process a broader array of available fibre sources in the region and achieve a series of safety and environmental advancements.
Upon completion of the upgrades, the Williams Lake and Meadowbank facilities will have an increase of 80 000 tonnes per annum in combined overall production capacity. Commissioning for the upgrades at Williams Lake and Meadowbank are expected to commence in Q1 2020 and Q3 2020, respectively and are anticipated to enhance the operating flexibility of both plants and better position Pinnacle to adapt to cyclical changes in wood fibre supply within the BC interior.
In addition, the equipment, technology and infrastructure improvements are expected to result in improved facility operating efficiencies, lower emissions, local employment opportunities and greater overall facility safety.
We are excited to be working with the Esk’etemc and pleased that the Agreement will contribute to the achievement of sustainable fibre supplies to fill the gap in sawmill residuals we have seen in the province this year. The Agreement will enhance forest stewardship practices while generating new economic opportunities for the Esk’etemc Nation, commented Rob McCurdy, CEO of Pinnacle.