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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

On June 13 -14, the Canadian wood pellet industry gathered in Prince George, B.C., for its annual safety conference. This year, for the first time, we included a full day of training on the topic of Process Safety Management, which was presented by Jamie Merriam of ACM Facility Safety.

During last year’s conference, Budd Phillips, regional prevention manager with WorkSafeBC, told us that while they were impressed with the wood pellet industry’s safety progress, “You need to keep your foot on the gas.” Moreover, Phillips told us that while we could continue to expect incremental safety gains from focusing on occupational health and safety, for us to really make the next quantum leap in safety performance, WorkSafeBC recommends that our industry should embrace Process Safety Management (PSM).

Traditional occupational health and safety programs are primarily concerned with creating safe work environments on an individual worker basis. These programs are based on knowledgeable workers making sound decisions during each workday. However, as facilities and equipment become more complex and integrated, occupational health and safety alone is not enough.

PSM is concerned with the proactive and systematic identification, evaluation, and prevention or mitigation of failures in processes, procedures, human factors, or equipment. PSM is a set of values, assumptions, concepts, and practices that form a structure for supporting the management and integrity of hazardous operating systems and processes by applying good design principles, engineering, and operating practices. The oil and gas and chemical industries have adopted PSM with impressive results.

The Wood Pellet of Canada Safety Committee (WPAC SC) took Phillips’ recommendation seriously and resolved to promote PSM adoption throughout the entire Canadian wood pellet industry. Since PSM is difficult and complex to implement, we decided to break it down into small components that would be more easily understood and put into practice.

For the past year, WPAC SC has been working on educating senior pellet industry leadership on the benefits of PSM, and on adapting course content originally intended for oil and gas to meet the needs of the pellet industry.

On June 14, 2017, WPAC SC rolled out its first PSM training course: Fundamentals of PSM and Management of Change. PSM has 14 elements to implement and manage:

1) Employee participation
2) Process safety information
3) Process hazards analysis
4) Operating procedures
5) Training
6) Contractor safety
7) Pre-startup safety review
8) Mechanical integrity
9) Hot work permit
10) Management of change
11) Incident investigation
12) Emergency planning and response
13) Compliance audits
14) Safe work practices

Management of change (MOC) is a process for evaluation and controlling adjustments to facility design, operations, organization, business processes or activities prior to implementation. It is meant to ensure that no new hazards are introduced and that the risk of existing hazards to employees, the public, the business, or the environment are not increased beyond tolerable limits.

MOC is a systematic process that is comprised of a number of pre-defined steps:

1) Pre-approval to proceed to develop the change
2) Evaluation of risk and development of the details that support the change
3) Approval to implement
4) Implementation
5) Evaluation and close-out

Thirty-six people participated in this PSM training session including representatives of many Canadian pellet manufacturers, insurance companies, engineering consultants, and WorkSafeBC. Participants were enthusiastic about going back to their operations to begin implementing what we learned about the MOC element. WPAC SC is planning to hold another training session on a new PSM element in the fall of 2017 as we roll out PSM across the wood pellet industry.

We are grateful for the support of our media partner, Canadian Biomass magazine, and to our financial sponsors, WorkSafeBC and Digital Action Tracking System (DATS) for helping make our annual safety conference possible. We will heed Budd Phillips’s advice by “Keeping our foot on the gas.”

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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


  • Baghouse safety: best practices for hands-on maintenance

    Baghouse safety: best practices for hands-on maintenance Baghouse maintenance can be quite complex and involve many trades from power engineers, millwrights, electricians, instrumentation technicians and contractors. The results of proper maintenance can yield a well-running, efficient and safe fines collection system (baghouse) that will enhance productivity and[…]

  • FPAC welcomes NRCan investments, calls for closer co-operation

    On July 2, the federal government announced renewed funding for the Investment in Indigenous Forestry Initiative (IFIT) program and the Indigenous Forestry Initiative (IFI) to accelerate innovation and Indigenous-led economic development in Canada’s forest sector. The Forest Products Association of[…]


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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