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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

PacBio bobtail fire
Photo courtesy Pacific BioEnergy

Pacific Bioenergy’s (PacBio) salvage and reforestation program is demonstrating the important contribution that a strong, competitive bioenergy sector can make in advancing sustainable forest management and contributing to a low-carbon economy.

In 2015, the Bobtail Lake fire burned more than 25,000 hectares of land west of Prince George, B.C. While the fire-damaged trees that remain standing after a fire moves through an area can sometimes be salvaged by sawmills and converted into lumber, in this instance the burning and charring was so severe that they could not be used for this purpose.

Before the arrival of the wood pellet sector, the burned trees from the Bobtail Lake fire would have been left to decay over many years, slowly emitting carbon to the atmosphere and wasting this valuable resource. Fortunately, PacBio saw an opportunity to salvage fibre from this area to make wood pellets, creating a valuable product and providing jobs while at the same time opening up the fire area for reforestation activities to restore a healthy forest to this burned landscape.

Canadian Biomass Bobtail fire map

In 2019, PacBio began salvage harvesting on a 2,250-hectare area in the Bobtail, which represents the first time in British Columbia that a bioenergy licence has been used for large-scale salvage. Harvesting operations went smoothly, with fibre trucked to PacBio’s Prince George facility for processing – but just as reforestation activities were set to start up, the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, and PacBio was faced with either completely redesigning their silviculture plans or abandoning the planting season for 2020.

Partnering with local contractors Freya Logging and Strategic Natural Resource Consultants, PacBio developed a plan that would utilize local contractors for reforestation rather than relying on camp crews of tree planters who travel across the province for silviculture contracts. This model employed local forest workers who were idled because of COVID-19, contributing to the local economy while also improving safety planning related to the virus epidemic. On May 8, the first of 1.1 million seedlings were planted by PacBio in the Bobtail and the reforestation is expected to be completed by early July.

“PacBio’s innovative fibre supply strategies focuses on harvest residuals which would have been ‘piled and burned’ such as low-quality, beetle-killed, and deciduous logs that the sawmills and pulp and paper mills can’t use,” says PacBio CEO John Stirling. “Our ability to access this material has allowed us to supplement our fibre supply and keep our Prince George plant operating, and to help advance reforestation of this area that was devastated by the 2015 wildfire.”

By utilizing this fibre and reforesting the Bobtail burn area, PacBio is actively restoring this fire-damaged area into a healthy new forest that instead of emitting carbon will now be acting as a carbon sink by absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere as the trees grow. Moreover, PacBio will ship its wood pellets to electric power plants in Europe and Asia where they will be used as a clean, renewable alternative to coal, providing even more climate benefits.

This salvage program and reforestation effort demonstrates the critical role for bioenergy production in a sustainable forest sector – improving responsible utilization of forest fibre to create green products, local jobs and strong environmental outcomes on the ground and for global customers.

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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.

Read more...

Industry News

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  • Webinar: building sustainable communities with the bioeconomy

    On Nov. 26, 2020, from 8:00-10:00 a.m. PST, the Canadian Bioeconomy Conference and Exhibition will host a webinar called ‘Building Sustainable Communities with the Bioeconomy.” This webinar will explore the development of the bioeconomy from the perspective of communities. The[…]

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  • Brightmark breaks ground on RNG project in Florida

    Brightmark, a global waste solutions provider, on Nov. 13 broke ground on The Sobek Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) project, which includes the construction of new anaerobic digesters at two Larson family dairy farms in Okeechobee County, Fla. The farms are[…]

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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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