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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

Drax catchment analysis
Canadian pellets are made entirely from sawmill waste, residuals left over from harvesting or low-quality logs.

Canada’s wood pellet sector is committed to sustainable fibre sourcing and supporting responsible forest management. Our sector has a powerful role to play in building a low carbon economy, founded on sustainable forestry and supporting positive carbon balances in managed forests.

Canadian pellet producers work with our customers to develop and implement key sustainability metrics and ensure that together we are contributing to positive environmental outcomes. One excellent example of this type of partnership is Drax – a global green energy producer head    quartered in the UK with operations in Europe and North America. Drax is also a major customer of Canadian wood pellet producers.

Committed to responsible fibre sourcing and transparency, Drax has detailed fibre sourcing and sustainability standards. The company backs these programs with evidence-based data and reporting, most notably in the company’s Catchment Area Analyses.

Examining the impact of fibre sourcing

A Catchment Area Analysis (CAA) is a detailed assessment of the impacts of fibre sourcing for pellet production in the area that supplies one or more pellet mills. The CAA examines the impact of fibre sourcing on the environment, climate and forest industry within the catchment area. The analyses examine trends for factors including:
  • Forest composition, growing stock and growth rate;
  • Deforestation and forest degradation;
  • Changes in forest management practices,
  • Wood prices and other markets that use wood,
  • Amount of carbon stored on landscape (growing stock);
  • Sequestration rate of carbon (productivity of forests); and
  • Harvesting levels vs productive capacity of area.
No negative impacts in analysis of Northwest British Columbia

Drax has now posted the results of the Catchment Area Analyses for 2020 – representing two-thirds of its global procurement – including a detailed report on Pinnacle Renewable Energy’s operations in Northwest British Columbia. The study was conducted by Arborvitae Environmental Services Ltd., a Canadian company co-led by Jeremy Williams, RPF (Ontario) and Ph.D. Forestry Economics, in partnership with Gary Bull, Ph.D. Forestry Economics, Professor and Head of Department, Forest Resources Management at the University of British Columbia. The project involved considerable data collection and analysis; Pinnacle worked with the consultants to supply wood procurement and production data and the consultants received assistance from other consultants and from the British Columbia Ministry of Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
 
BIOMASS WPAC map AMS

A map of Drax’s Catchment Area in Northwestern B.C.

One of the main conclusions of the report is that pellet demand has had no influence on forest management practices other than more complete use of harvested trees, leading to reduced slash burning. Because the pellet mills primarily use mill residuals, and a minor amount of ground slash and low quality wood that would otherwise be burned or left to rot at roadside, harvest levels are not impacted by pellet production. The study also concluded that there were no negative effects on other participants in local forest industry.

The report highlights British Columbia’s forest management systems and regulations, along with the significant efforts that have been undertaken in the region to respond to the mountain pine beetle epidemic – salvaging damaged forests and undertaking significant reforestation efforts to return the area to healthy, productive forest cover.

“The report re-affirms that biomass plays a critical role in helping local communities and the forest industry respond to natural disasters and highlights the importance of customer-supplier relationships to better understand changing forestry dynamics,” said Vaughan Bassett Senior Vice President Sales & Logistics at Pinnacle.

“This level of detailed catchment area study in relation to the sustainability impacts of raw material sourcing is essential, and will define more supplier to customer relationships going forward,” said Bull. “As we look to move toward a circular bioeconomy, global consumers will increasingly look for this type of transparency in forest supply chains.”

To learn more about Drax’s Catchment Area Analyses and sustainability commitments, visit www.drax.com. You can learn more about Canadian wood pellets and sustainable fibre sourcing at www.pellet.org.

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Safety

WPAC Safety Committee

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

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.

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Industry News

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  • Shell to produce aviation fuel, naphtha from crops and renewable power

    Germany’s Royal Dutch Shell is planning to produce aviation fuel and naphtha from crops and renewable power, aiming to move away from crude oil. The company’s goal is to increase to commercial scale an electrolysis plant that manufactures fossil-free hydrogen.[…]

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  • Quebec companies collaborate on one of Canada’s largest green hydrogen projects

    Two Quebec companies have announced one of the country’s largest green hydrogen injection projects for a natural gas distribution network in the province. Evolugen, the Canadian operating business of Brookfield Renewable, and Gazifère Inc., an Enbridge company, are collaborating to[…]

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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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