Tolko and Pinnacle hold grand opening of Lavington pellet plant
In Canada, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Steve Thomson, Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster, District of Coldstream Mayor Jim Garlick, and representatives from Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc., and Tolko Industries Ltd, gathered in Lavington, British Columbia (BC) on October 16 to celebrate the grand opening of Lavington Pellet Limited Partnership’s wood pellet production plant.
Deploying both low-temperature European belt drying and Cyclofilter technology, the plant, a CA$47 million investment on the part of Tolko Industries Ltd. and Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc., is a showcase for state-of-the-art emissions control technology at a scale not previously seen in the North American wood pellet industry.
In addition to creating 25 new direct jobs in the community and providing economic opportunity for local service suppliers, the 200 000 tonnes-per-annum capacity plant will significantly enhance the economic value and utilization of sawmill residuals from within the broader Thompson Okanagan region.
Tolko and Pinnacle are recognized as industry leaders, so it’s no surprise that Lavington Pellet Limited Partnership is leading the way in green, renewable technology. This new facility will create jobs and contribute to local communities while producing green, renewable pellet fuel, said Minister Thomson.
Following the grand opening ceremony, attendees toured the facility which began commissioning on September 28, 2015, and saw its first pellets produced on October 1, 2015. Plant production levels are nearing target levels and Leroy Reitsma, President, and COO of Pinnacle Renewable Energy is optimistic for the future of the plant.
When we started this project, we were looking at ways to take pellet production to a new standard of environmental stewardship. From what we have seen of the new technology, we are right on target. We are extremely pleased with the work of the project team, suppliers and contractors who delivered this project safely, on time and on budget, and are happy to see this facility making a positive contribution to the local economy, the value of sawmill residuals within the region, the local environment and the global effort to address climate change. This facility represents a major forward step in the technology used in wood pellet production and we are very pleased to have been able to partner with Tolko Industries in this shared vision, said Reitsma.
Reitsma also thanked the new employees at the plant who have worked hard to ready themselves for the task of safely operating the beautiful new state-of-the-art facility. Brad Thorlakson, President and CEO of Tolko Industries echoed Leroy Reitsma’s comments.
This is a good project for the community and the Tolko mill in Lavington. In addition to creating new jobs, the pellet plant provides an environmentally compatible outlet for the sawdust and shavings that collect at the site, and other locations in the area. This, combined with our significant investment to upgrade the bag house filtration system at the Lavington mill, will help reduce fugitive dust in the area, said Thorlakson.
About Lavington Pellets
Built adjacent to Tolko Industries Lavington Planer Mill, the pellet plant is a joint venture between Tolko Industries (25 percent) and Pinnacle Renewable Energy (75 percent).
With a capacity to produce 200 000 tonnes per annum, the plant with use sawdust and planer shavings from the Tolko facility as well as from other local sawmills.