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Power of Pellets: Building strong communities together

by Ellen Cools

Produced by the Wood Pellet Association of Canada with support from British Columbia’s Forestry Innovation Investment, the Power of Pellets video series, showcases the people on the ground who make our industry great through their commitment to their communities and the world-at-large by supplying the world with responsible and renewable clean energy.

One of five videos in the series, Building Strong Communities Together demonstrates the vital role wood pellets play in helping communities across B.C. create robust economies, while also helping the province and country meet climate change objectives.

Steve Kozuki, executive director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC points out that not only is the pellet sector helping to meet climate change objectives it is “creating a ton of economic activity for small rural communities, allowing new opportunities for new entrants to participate in B.C.’s bioeconomy, particularly Indigenous Peoples who are investing in the sector and creating jobs.”

Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall says the pellet sector contributes to the economic diversity of the community, adding that  “We’ve worked hard to diversify our economy and that makes the pellet sector a key player.”

Skeena Bioenergy has been a major part of the solution that has helped the B.C. forest industry come full circle. Roger Keery, president of Skeena Sawmills and Skeena BioEnergy, tells how the company built a pellet mill as a way to add value to every piece of fibre and as an outlet for the sawmill waste that would otherwise have been burned or sent to the local landfill. Their partnership with the KitsumKalum First Nation, which provides the hauling of the pellets to the railhead, has been critical to Skeena’s success.

Diane Collins, general manager for KitsumKalum Economic Development Group of Companies, agrees: “We have a real strong belief in doing things that are good for the environment, good for the community, and good for the trees. I think because this is such a green and renewable energy product, the community, in general, totally supports wood pellets.”

See how these champions of British Columbia’s forest economy are “building strong communities together.”

Gordon Murray is the executive director of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada.

This article was originally published by Canadian Biomass, a national media brand providing coverage of the emerging biomass, bioenergy and bio-products markets. See CanadianBiomassMagazine.ca for more information.