Association News and Publications

Sept. 20, 2017 – Working to improve safety measures in the wood pellet industry is, thankfully, not an uncommon topic these days, but a safe work environment can only be achieved if all members of a team are engaged and committed to adopting that safety culture. Day 2 of the WPAC conference offered attendees some personal insight on the dangers of ignoring safety.

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Sept. 19, 2017 - Transitioning away from coal. That was the main theme at Day One of this year’s WPAC conference in the nation’s capital.

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China is a bit of a mystery to Canadian wood pellet producers. The Canadian wood pellet industry has traditionally relied on the European power market and more recently has penetrated Japan and South Korea. From time to time we have had casual inquiries from potential Chinese buyers, but nothing serious materialized. We believed that with its large population, its reliance on coal, and its insatiable energy demand, China would eventually see the benefits of using wood pellets to lower GHG emissions and reduce pollution.

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One of the largest pellet plants in Quebec, Energex, could also be the oldest. Max Béraud, the mill manager, does not even hesitate to call it an antiquity! Created in 1983 by BioShell – in the midst of an oil crisis – the plant located in Lac-Mégantic, Que., in the Eastern Townships benefited from the know-how and oil standards in place to develop its efficiency.

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On the surface, biofuels seem more expensive than fossil fuels. A litre of ethanol costs more than a litre of gasoline. A ton of wood pellets costs more than a ton of coal. But is this a fair comparison?

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