Association News and Publications

Pinnacle bed dryer infeed
A view of the bed dryer infeed at Pinnacle's Williams Lake, B.C., plant, showing the infeed conveyor and metering bin supplied by Continental Conveyors. Photos courtesy Pinnacle Renewable Energy.

The Wood Pellet Association of Canada, in co-operation with BC Forest Safety Council, WorkSafeBC and media partner Canadian Biomass magazine, is planning a Belt Dryer Safety Symposium to be held November 25, 2020.

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pellet central heating
Trumpeter Camp, a dormitory and dining facility for 93 oil field workers in Norman Wells, N.W.T., is fully heated using wood pellet boilers. Photo credit: Brian Lickoch, Green Energy NWT Inc.

For more than two years, the Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) has been pursuing change in Canadian biomass boiler related standards that make it difficult and expensive for Canadians to acquire pellet-fired boilers for central heating. Most of the high-quality pellet boilers in the world are manufactured in western Europe, primarily in Austria and Germany, to the standards required by the European Union. These standards are acceptable in many countries around the world, and WPAC would like to see them acceptable here in Canada. Nearly all of the three million tonnes of wood pellets Wood Pellet Association members produce each year are shipped offshore to help other countries meet their greenhouse gas reduction goals. WPAC would like to see this domestic, renewable energy product used for the financial and environmental benefit of Canadians.

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Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd., a crown corporation of the government of British Columbia, recently gave its website “naturally:wood” a new look and for the first time ever it also now features wood pellets.

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WPAC climate change pellets

For decades, wood waste from manufacturing was burned in beehive burners and unwanted logs, branches and tops from harvesting were left on site, creating a fire and insect risk. Today, an increasing amount of that waste is being turned into wood pellets in Canada. Those pellets are used around the world to produce clean energy and to displace fossil fuels – supporting efforts to meet important global climate change targets.

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sawdust unloading
Figure 1. Sawdust trailers being unloaded at a Canadian wood pellet plant

Canada is a leading supplier of wood pellets from certified sustainable and legal sources. Today, electric power stations in Europe and Asia are using Canadian wood pellets to displace coal and reduce fossil greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  For example, Drax Power operates the world’s largest biomass power station providing about six percent of the UK’s electricity supply.  Drax was a former coal power station that converted to wood pellets, thereby reducing its GHG emissions by more than eighty percent. Many of these wood pellets are imported from Canada.

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