Canada’s forest sector is highly integrated and maximizes the value of every tree – our wood pellet sector exists primarily to make better use of forests that are already being harvested.
All of our fibre is either a direct by-product of the lumber industry, or the purposeful extraction of dead, diseased or damaged or low quality trees.
Residual Fibre – Milling Operations
Residual Fibre – Forest Operations
As Canadian wood pellet producers have matured, they have expanded the kinds of raw material they use beyond sawdust and shavings from sawmills. Inexplicably, valuable fibre is left to decay or burned on-site after forest harvesting operations. Now, increasingly pellets are being made from harvest residues – tree-tops, branches and low-quality logs that have been left behind after primary harvesting has occurred. This is material that has been rejected by sawmills, panel-board plants and pulp mills.
We have been proud to use our innovation and investments in the salvage efforts to turn what others viewed as waste into an energy source that supports thousands of jobs and local communities and is in demand around the world as an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels.
The PacBio Story: Transforming Forest Waste into Clean Energy
For decades in British Columbia, unwanted treetops, limbs, low-quality logs and dead trees have been piled up and burned on site after harvesting. The requirement to do this stems from the Province’s Wildfire Act and results in large plumes of smoke that can be seen for kilometres every spring and autumn. In some cases, particulates and harmful contaminants from the burning of this slash find their way into the air in communities.
PacBio saw an opportunity to expand its fibre supply and help the environment at the same time. The Company began working with sawmill and logging companies and with local contractors in Prince George in 2007 to develop and promote the concept of forestry grinding. A couple of contractors stepped up early-on to embrace new technology and processes.
Since then, PacBio has removed 1.67 million metric tonnes of slash that would have gone up in smoke and turned it into renewable and clean energy in the form of 1.3 million metric tonnes of wood pellets. Today PacBio’s pellets have found markets in Asia and Europe with customers who appreciate BC’s environmental credentials and the responsible use of fibre. You can read more about this important work here.