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The Voice of Canada’s growing pellet sector
  • Video: Heating with Wood Pellets

    Heating with wood pellets is an effective way to help in the fight against climate change.

  • Video: Wood Pellet Association of Canada

    Existing coal plants can be cost-effectively repurposed to use wood pellet fuel to help the environment and reduce air pollution.

  • Pellets

    Made from renewable forest byproducts and unmerchantable material, wood pellets from Canada provide a renewable, sustainable fuel source for generations to enjoy. | Read More

  • Sustainable

    Only 9% of the world’s forest are certified. Over 42% of them are in Canada, making it an ideal source for sustainable wood pellets. | Read More

  • Renewable

    WPAC members rely on sawmill waste and forest harvest residuals for the bulk of their fibre supply, allowing 100% resource use. | Read More

  • Fossil Fuel Alternative

    Whether on their own or co-fired with coal, wood pellets provide a lower carbon footprint and renewable energy source. | Read More

  • Innovative

    WPAC continues to support R&D in key wood pellet areas like safety, efficiency, fuel stability, energy content and more. | Read More

Safety work photo
Fire brigade training is an important element of the pellet industry’s safety approach. Credit: Pinnacle Renewable Energy,
Every day, WPAC members and their employees work tirelessly to ensure leading safety practices are implemented and embraced. We know we will be measured by our collective efforts as an industry. Our reputation and the trust of regulators, the general public and the families of our employees depend on this. That we achieved this and more  in 2020 was no small feat in the context of a global pandemic.

With the support of our partner, the BC Forest Safety Council (BCFSC), and the commitment of our members from the boardrooms to the plants across Canada, we were able to overcome the challenges of not being able to meet face to face. It meant long, virtual web conferencing, technical glitches and it required at times more patience and perseverance than most have with technology on the best of days.

We entered 2020, with ambitious goals, and we’re proud to say that we met most of them and continue to progress several others. Perhaps the one that stands out is an initiative we undertook with BCFSC in collaboration with WorkSafeBC.

After some research, and with guidance and prompting from WorkSafeBC, WPAC’s safety committee decided to pursue a process known as Critical Control Management (CCM) which starts with a procedure known as bowtie analysis. We now have all 14 of our member plants and one MDF facility clamoring to be the first to implement it. Together, WPAC and BCFSC, in conjunction with the industry, have developed an implementation schedule with the goal of completing bowties and critical controls to WorkSafeBC by late 2021.

The initiative also caught the eye of university researchers. WorkSafeBC is funding a Dalhousie University Department of Process Engineering and Applied Science research project that will facilitate knowledge and transfer of this work across the wood pellet industry in Canada and internationally.

That same year, our safety committee decided to produce an educational video to help operators minimize the risks associated with syngas. Several partners quickly stepped up with technical and financial support. These include the University of British Columbia Biomass and Bioenergy Research Group, BC Forest Safety Council, BiomassCanada Cluster, and Agriculture and Agri-food Canada. This group has now released the seven-minute video Best Practices in Managing Combustible Gas which describes how and where combustible gas will accumulate during the pellet manufacturing process and gives recommendations for reducing risk.

In addition, WPAC, in co-operation with the BC Forest Safety Council, WorkSafeBC and media partner Canadian Biomass, held the Belt Dryer Safety Symposium. The purpose of the symposium was to share the learnings from these incidents and for individual operators to share in-house safe operating procedures with their industry colleagues. There were more than 70 participants and, at the end of the event, they agreed to form a Belt Dryer Working Group to review past incidents and lessons learned for safer uses of belt dryers in our industry.

That brings us to 2021. WPAC’s safety committee, which is responsible for developing and communicating strategies for continuous improvement has released its 2021 safety work plan with a focus on:

1. Critical Control Implementation
  • Complete Bowties and critical controls to WorkSafe BC by end of 2021.
2. Improving Belt Dryer Safety
  • Establish a working group to develop safer operating procedures.
3. Equipment Isolation
  • In cooperation with Dalhousie University, prepare white paper and host a symposium on best practices.
4. Plant Operator Training and Use of Alarms
  • With BCFSC, complement development of the basic plant operator competency assessment and host webinars.
5. Local Nitrogen Supply Initiative
  • Complete and share information on stationary and mobile nitrogen systems, as well as recommendations for effective emergency response in case of self-heating and silo fire.
6. Training and Supervision of Workers
  • Complete and rollout Safety Foundation series videos and webinars.
7. Incident Reporting
  • Evaluate how we report in collect, track and report incident data.
8. Communications
  • Continue to hold monthly Safety Committee calls, host webinars and distribute communications that promote and foster a safety culture across the industry.

While these may feel like uncertain times, one thing we can be sure about is that safety will remain our foremost priority. We also know that our success will be determined by our partnerships, by listening to our members and their workers, and communicating effectively every day.

The 2021 Work Plan is available here.

WPAC’s safety committee works in close cooperation with WorkSafeBC and the BC Forest Safety Council. The committee welcomes new members. If you are interested, please contact Scott Bax or Gordon Murray:

Scott Bax, Safety Committee Chair
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Tel: (604) 787-3176

Gordon Murray, Safety Committee Secretary
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Tel: (250) 837-8821

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WPAC Safety Committee

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Power Generation

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Sustainable power

The vast majority of Canadian wood pellets are made from sawmill residuals - sawdust. The rest are made from the residuals from harvesting operations for sawmills and pulp mills, or low-grade timber from forest industry harvest sites that has no other economic value. Think firewood. Read more...

Breathing easier - pellet emissions vs coal

Sustainability should be top of mind for any company that wants to stay in the game in today’s world.

As important a role as Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions play, we also need to focus on noxious emissions versus coal.

Read more...

Industry News

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  • Mark your calendars! New pellet safety webinar series coming soon

    Safety is the foundation of our pellet industry. Our work around safety never ends; we are constantly striving for new ways to improve safety whether it be the equipment we use or the processes that support good, safe decision making.[…]

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  • The role RNG is playing in transitioning Canada toward a carbon-negative future

    The cost to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) is higher than that of conventional natural gas, but a number of factors are helping to reduce the gap. Incentives, regulatory action and innovations introduced by utilities have contributed toward shrinking the[…]

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The Pellet Advantage

Efficient and Plentiful Production

Wood Pellet Association of Canada members are world leaders in the design and operation of modern pellet plants.

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Innovating our way to a safer, better product

Wood pellets are a safe, reliable modern fuel. But they are still a fuel, requiring care in producing, shipping and storing.

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Renewable and sustainable? Energy really can grow on trees.

There is no single energy source capable of solving our dependence on fossil fuels. Instead we need to look to a mix of new fuels, including wood pellets.

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Argus Wood Pellet Index

US$ per metric tonneArgus Wood Pellet Index

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