The Star Manx is loaded at Westview Terminal.

Pellets drive forestry resurgence

The forest industry, long the economic backbone of the Northwest, is experiencing a resurgence as demand for lumber in Asia grows.

The forest industry, long the economic backbone of the Northwest, is experiencing a resurgence as demand for lumber in Asia grows.

Along with traditional milled lumber, the forest industry is benefiting from increased demand for clean-burning wood pellets to heat homes abroad. In November, Pinnacle Renewable Resources commenced operations of its $42 million Westview Terminal pellet export facility on Prince Rupert’s waterfront and has so far shipped more than 50,000 tonnes of pellets from the company’s plants in Houston, Burns Lake and Quesnel.

With the early success of the Westview operation, Pinnacle announced a new partnership with Coast Tsimshian Resources on Dec. 6 for the creation of a wood pellet manufacturing facility in Terrace using fibre from the area.

The plant – the location of which is yet to be confirmed – is expected to create close to 200 jobs in the region.