Westview pellet terminal in Prince Rupert. (File photo)

Pinnacle pellets to feed hungry Japanese biomass industry

Canadian biomass company to sell 70,000 metric tonnes annually to Japan by end of 2019

A lot more wood is about to pass through Prince Rupert — as pellets.

On Friday, the company that owns Westview pellet terminal, Pinnacle Renewable Energy Group, announced they have finalised a contract to sell 70,000 metric tonnes of wood pellets annually to a Japanese conglomerate, Ube Industries Ltd., by the end of 2019.

“Japan has made a strong commitment to decarbonization, and biomass is posed to become an increasingly important part of the country’s energy mix,” said Robert McCurdy, Pinnacle’s CEO.

The long-term take-or-pay contract guarantees Pinnacle Renewable Energy Group will receive payment for its pellets — even if future demand decreases in Japan.

Biomass fuels, including wood pellets, are in high demand in Japan. The demand for wood pellets is buoyed by a feed-in tariff, which is a system where independent producers are paid for their contributions to the national grid. This is already established as part of Japan’s carbon-reduction program, as a result independent biomass power plants have proliferated across the country.

READ MORE: Smithers pellet plant ready to build

As of September 2017, more than 800 independent projects had received government approval with a total proposed power generation capacity of more than 12.4 gigawatts — equivalent to the power generated by 12 nuclear reactors. At least 10 of those plants are in the late-phase development.

As more plants come on-line, Japan’s demand for biomass —including Canadian wood pellets — is projected to increase by more than 350 per cent. Yet in Japan, questions remain by analysts about the feasibility of so many biomass projects. Japan’s energy grid is not equipped to handle so many independent power plants and many of the proposed plants don’t have a guaranteed long-term fuel source.

There are also concerns among climate change analysts about the overall reductions in carbon emission gained by biomass-based electricity generation.

Pinnacle, regardless, has a guarenteed deal with Ube Industries and continues to grow its business.

READ MORE: High winds dent a silo at the pellet terminal



newsroom@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Pinnacle PelletsPinnacle TerminalPort of Prince Rupertwood pellets

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fire on Third Ave. in Prince Rupert

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue crew attended the hotel

Fisheries and Oceans Canada lifts at-sea observer requirements due to COVID-19

Fisheries Management Order went into effect April 2 and will remain for 45 days

Two armed robberies with-in a day

RCMP are asking for information

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Northern Health ready for COVID-19 surge

Health authority confident with inventory of ventilators

As 240K apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

COVID-19 world update: 1,000 cases hit U.S. military; Good news in Spain, Portugal

Comprehensive collection of coronavirus news from around the world

B.C. dance competition cancelled

The annual event was scheduled in P.R. from May 3 to 9

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open this week

Bars, cannabis sector eligible for $40B credit program from government bank

Applicants must go through their own banks to access the program

Immunocompromised community call for more options to get groceries during COVID-19

One woman has decided to build a greenhouse to ensure she is able to access food throughout pandemic

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Most Read