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The Voice of Canada’s growing pellet sector
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In a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Gordon Murray, executive director of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) shared how the sector is continuing to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

Thank you for the leadership that you and your government are providing in response to the COVID-19 crisis.  The purpose of this letter is to update you regarding how Canada’s wood pellet sector is fulfilling its responsibilities as part of Canada’s Critical Infrastructure as defined in Public Safety Canada’s National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure.

The wood pellet sector is unique in that we are actually a subsector of several other critical industries including manufacturing, forest products, energy and utilities. The majority of Canadian wood pellets are exported to Europe and Asia to generate clean, renewable, low-carbon electricity in power plants. Our utility customers all operate with just-in-time supply chains that are reliant on continuous Canadian wood pellet supply. Any supply chain interruption would result in electrical power plants having to close, disrupting electricity generation in the countries we export to, which would obviously be devastating to their COVID-19 response. In the United Kingdom, wood pellets account for six to eight per cent of the country’s electricity and Canada is one of the UK’s main suppliers. In Japan, Canada accounts for 50 to 70 per cent of all that country’s wood pellet supply.

Wood pellets are also used for home heating in rural Canada, especially in areas not served by the natural gas grid. Wood pellets are often the lowest cost, or even the only fuel option in many parts of rural Canada.

There are additional benefits to our current operations. Our product is contributing to the fight against global warming because we have replaced dirty coal in power plants. We are providing much needed revenue for the primary forest sector from whom we purchase our raw materials. And we are helping to keep our national rail network and ports busy in these times of reduced economic activity.

We would like to point out that Canada’s wood pellet plants are among the world’s most modern and highly automated. The health and safety of our employees is our top priority. We are closely following the recommendations of the World Health Organization, the Government of Canada regarding COVID-19 precautions. These include:

  • Adoption of ‘work from home’ measures for those who are able to, and no group gatherings
  • Implementation of systems to support employees facing potential cases of COVID-19 and/or individuals in self-quarantine within the workforce
  • Modifying shift schedules to reduce employee contact between shifts and implementation of social distancing operations-wide
  • Managing break, lunch, and dinner times to ensure a two-metre distance between staff members
  • Suspending international travel and significant restrictions on domestic travel
  • Restrictions on visitors; thorough screening of on-site contractors, and deliveries
  • Ramped up sanitation and hygiene measures across facilities, common areas, and all surfaces
  • Sharing best practices amongst our membership during our regular industry-wide safety webinars

We wish to assure you that during these challenging days, and for the days ahead, we will continue to fulfill our responsibilities as part of Canada’s Critical Infrastructure.

I would be pleased to discuss these issues with you or your staff at your convenience.


Gordon Murray,
Executive Director

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WPAC Safety Committee

To find more information about the WPAC Safety Committee and safety resources, please click here

Power Generation


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.


Industry News


  • Growing value: after overcoming challenges, Skeena Bioenergy looks to the future

    As the forest industry increasingly recognizes the need to use as much fibre as possible, more and more sawmills are exploring the opportunity to produce wood pellets. One such sawmill is Skeena Sawmills, based in Terrace, B.C.  In 2018, the[…]

  • Critical report of Canadian logging practices are ‘misleading, flawed,’ say companies

    Criticism of Ontario’s and Quebec’s logging practices, made by the U.S.-based Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), are misleading, say Resolute Forest Products, Domtar and Aditya Birla Group. NRDC’s report makes claims of overharvesting, leaving woodland caribou unprotected and not considering[…]


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.


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.


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.


Argus Wood Pellet Index

US$ per metric tonneArgus Wood Pellet Index

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