Westview pellet terminal in Prince Rupert. (File photo)

Pinnacle pellets to feed hungry Japanese biomass industry

Canadian biomass company to sell 70,000 metric tonnes annually to Japan by end of 2019

A lot more wood is about to pass through Prince Rupert — as pellets.

On Friday, the company that owns Westview pellet terminal, Pinnacle Renewable Energy Group, announced they have finalised a contract to sell 70,000 metric tonnes of wood pellets annually to a Japanese conglomerate, Ube Industries Ltd., by the end of 2019.

“Japan has made a strong commitment to decarbonization, and biomass is posed to become an increasingly important part of the country’s energy mix,” said Robert McCurdy, Pinnacle’s CEO.

The long-term take-or-pay contract guarantees Pinnacle Renewable Energy Group will receive payment for its pellets — even if future demand decreases in Japan.

Biomass fuels, including wood pellets, are in high demand in Japan. The demand for wood pellets is buoyed by a feed-in tariff, which is a system where independent producers are paid for their contributions to the national grid. This is already established as part of Japan’s carbon-reduction program, as a result independent biomass power plants have proliferated across the country.

READ MORE: Smithers pellet plant ready to build

As of September 2017, more than 800 independent projects had received government approval with a total proposed power generation capacity of more than 12.4 gigawatts — equivalent to the power generated by 12 nuclear reactors. At least 10 of those plants are in the late-phase development.

As more plants come on-line, Japan’s demand for biomass —including Canadian wood pellets — is projected to increase by more than 350 per cent. Yet in Japan, questions remain by analysts about the feasibility of so many biomass projects. Japan’s energy grid is not equipped to handle so many independent power plants and many of the proposed plants don’t have a guaranteed long-term fuel source.

There are also concerns among climate change analysts about the overall reductions in carbon emission gained by biomass-based electricity generation.

Pinnacle, regardless, has a guarenteed deal with Ube Industries and continues to grow its business.

READ MORE: High winds dent a silo at the pellet terminal



newsroom@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

B.C. Green Party pushes for wild salmon commissioner

The role would serve as a unifying force in the provincial government

BC Ferries confirms Northern Sea Wolf will not sail until mid-July

BC Ferries had hoped to get the vessel in September of last year, but it didn’t arrive until December

UPDATED: Horgan says B.C. defending its interests in Trans Mountain pipeline

Canadian finance minister’s update comes the same day Kinder Morgan shareholders plan to meet

5 things to know about B.C. Floods 2018

Snowpacks continue to melt causing thousands to be displaced, dozens of local states of emergency

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

UPDATE: Woman dies in ocean accident near Tofino hours before daughter’s wedding

“We are so thankful to everyone who helped our mom.”

Olympian sues USA Swimming, saying it failed to protect her

Ariana Kukors Smith alleges her former coach Sean Hutchison began grooming her for sexual abuse at the age of 13

Defence minister thanks troops for B.C. flood relief work

Harjit Sajjan says not only was military response quick, support from locals has been ‘tremendous’

Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

‘So grateful:’ Injured Bronco hockey player glad he’s alive, works on recovery

Ryan Straschnitzki was badly hurt in the accident: a spinal injury, broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and punctured lung

PHOTOS: Floodwaters rise and fall in Grand Forks

The flood-ravaged Kootenay-Boundary region begins to heal

Martin Mars waterbombers’ firefighting days are done

Wayne Coulson said his company still hopes to find a new home for the vintage aircraft

NHL playoffs weekly roundup

Vegas Golden Knights have done the impossible and have a chance at hoisting the Stanley Cup

Most Read