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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

BC Risk Assessment photo

The Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) recently completed a draft Regional Risk Assessment (RRA) of woody biomass fuels produced in British Columbia and is now seeking public input.

This RRA has been completed according to procedures defined by the Sustainable Biomass Program (SBP). There are multiple reasons for this.

The majority of wood pellet exports from Canada are used to replace coal in large power plants in Europe and Asia. Our large utility customers prefer wood pellets because they are renewable, sustainably produced and reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by about 90 per cent compared to coal. However, it is not enough to merely say that wood pellets are produced sustainably. We actually have to demonstrate it by using rigorous third-party certification programs. Our European utility customers require all Canadian wood pellet exporters to be SBP-certified.

SBP is a non-profit international standards organization that has developed a certification program for woody biomass, which is mostly used in the form of wood pellets and woodchips as fuel for industrial, large-scale energy production. The program is intended to provide third-party assurance that the biomass used as fuel is obtained from legal and sustainable sources.

A RRA is part of SBP’s approach for identifying and mitigating risks associated with sustainably sourcing feedstock for biomass pellet and wood chip production. A RRA evaluates an entire geographic region against the SBP standard to determine the risks associated with sourcing biomass feedstock from that region. This results in consistency of risk designation for all Biomass Producers (BPs), i.e. wood pellet plants, sourcing from that region. Once the RRA is approved, individual BPs will complete an assessment of their own fibre sourcing against the designated risks in their supply base areas. The RRA process is set out in SBP’s RRA Procedure Version 1.1.

The draft B.C. RRA report is now available online for public review. For access, click here.

WPAC initiated the RRA for the province of British Columba in 2018 and appointed a Working Body (WB) comprised of a team of subject matter experts to carry out the investigation and draft the RRA report.  The draft RRA report assesses each indicator following the requirements of SBP Framework Standard 1: Feedstock Compliance Standard for the province of B.C. as a whole. Where there is a high probability that an indicator is being met in B.C., it is assessed as “low risk.” Where there is a reasonable likelihood that an indicator is not being met, or there is insufficient information available to assess the risk, then the indicator is assessed as “specified risk.”

We are asking reviewers to identify:
  • New or missing information that is relevant
  • More up-to-date data that may have recently become available
  • Errors or omissions
  • Documented evidence that strengthens the assessment

We will acknowledge and track all comments received and will follow up with the appropriate stakeholder if a comment requires further investigation. We will collate and evaluate responses and revise the draft RRA report as appropriate. Stakeholders will be advised via email as to how their comments were considered and addressed in the revised RRA.

Once this consultation process is complete, we will send a revised RRA report to SBP for their review and approval process.

Gordon Murray is the executive director of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada. Brenda Hopkin is the president of Hopkin Forest Management.

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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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  • Drax, GB Railfrieght, extend contract to transport biomass

    GB Railfreight (GBRf) and Drax have agreed to extend their contract to transport supplies of sustainable biomass from UK ports to Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire until 2025. Teams at GBRf have worked closely with Drax for the past[…]

    Read more...
  • Remotely powerful: Nine rural communities’ experience with bioenergy – Part 3

    Remotely powerful: Nine rural communities’ experience with bioenergy – Part 3 [Editor’s note: this article is the third in a series of four. Part 4 online next week.] In early 2020, CanmetENERGY, part of Natural Resources Canada, carried out interviews with nine pioneering rural and remote communities that have installed bioenergy[…]

    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.

Read more...

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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