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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

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As global demand for wood pellets continues to rise to new levels, so do stakeholder expectations around the management of the forests from which these pellets are sourced. The Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) and the province of British Columbia have built a global reputation as a leading supplier of responsible, renewable clean energy. This, in turn, has opened up new markets for our products, spurred investment and created 2,500 high quality jobs.
That reputation has come under fire recently, as British Columbians grapple with the benefits of local jobs and opportunities from a proposed wood pellet plant versus the large-scale harvesting of aspen logs from significant swaths of forests as raw material for these pellets. For the past few weeks, WPAC has been inundated with enquiries from around the world about our position on a recent proposal to transfer the tenure rights for this Fort Nelson forest license, located on public lands in B.C. Let me be clear: WPAC does not support wood pellet manufacturing proposals that are predicated on the large-scale harvesting of forests for the sole purpose of pellet production.

To fully appreciate WPAC’s position, it’s important to look at our roots. Our industry grew out of the demise of old beehive burners that were used to burn sawmill residuals, but which no longer met air quality regulations and had become an eyesore across the province’s vast interior landscape. Those residuals needed a new outlet and wood pellets provided a natural solution. Innovation in pellet production and a growing global demand for green energy has since resulted in unprecedented growth in this once fledgling industry. It is a win for the forests, a win for local air quality and a win for renewable energy producers trying to meet global climate targets. In short, it is the underpinning of our social license to operate.

WPAC’s history is rooted in a fundamental principle: responsible sourcing. That means our pellets are produced entirely from a combination of the waste or residuals left from harvesting and sawmilling activities, the limited quantities of low-quality logs that need to be removed for forest enhancement or salvage projects and material that can’t be used for any other purpose. We are opposed to initiatives that risk the reputation we have built as a leading global supplier in sustainable wood pellet production.

At our recent conference, Energizing Asia with Sustainable Low-Carbon Biomass, experts estimated that the pellet sector is forecast to reach about 51 million metric tonnes per year in 2027 – an increase of 40 per cent of the demand seen in 2019. This impressive growth will drive more investment in B.C. and will no doubt catch the eye of entrepreneurs looking for new business opportunities. However, the wood pellet growth cannot come at the expense of sustainability, for that will cause irreparable damage to all of the industry stakeholders.

Clearly this proposed forest license transfer aims to capitalize on the growing market for pellets. On paper, the deal will build a pellet plant, create local employment and utilize low-quality trees while shipping higher quality sawlogs to mills out of Fort Nelson. Because it involves the transfer of a forest license on public lands, with an allowable annual cut of 553,716 cubic metres per year, the Forest Act requires the Government of B.C. to consider the public interest including personal, community, environmental and economic values, and not only business relationships.

The proposal has drawn the ire of ENGOs both in B.C. and around the globe and raised concerns in the marketplace. This is not unexpected given the growing expectations and requirements that wood pellets not only meet the highest environmental standards but that trees harvested go to their highest and best use. To put it bluntly, there is no market for pellets from the logging of vast forests for the sole purpose of pellet production.

As we also heard at our conference, regulators, customers and certification systems around the world are increasing their scrutiny of supply chains. WPAC members welcome this – we believe our commitment to responsible sourcing gives us a competitive advantage globally and positions our companies and industry for long-term success.

WPAC welcomes new investments in the pellet industry which support community stability and meet the environmental standards here at home and the expectations of the global marketplace. We encourage projects that ensure trees are used for the highest use possible and where whole tree harvesting from public forest lands for wood pellets is the exception, not the norm. While large-scale logging for pellets might seem like an expedient solution to an underutilized public resource, in the long-term, it may have serious repercussions to the government’s reputation – jeopardizing business relationships and ultimately the stability of a $750 million industry and 2,500 jobs across B.C.

For more information about WPAC’s commitment to responsible resourcing read our factsheet “Making the Most of Forest Residuals”. For a complete listing of WPAC’s members visit 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.

Read more...

Industry News

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  • 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[…]

    Read more...
  • 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[…]

    Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

Argus Wood Pellet Index

US$ per metric tonneArgus Wood Pellet Index

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