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

Just Posted

Terrace Special Olympics host first annual Sports Day

Many carnival-style games took place

Terrace students hold city accountable for safer bike lanes

Skeena Middle School students biked to city hall to present their report

Terrace-area gold project shows strong promise

Juggernaut Exploration hopes this year’s drilling will follow last year’s exceptional program

Kitselas votes Judy Gerow as new chief councillor

Chief and council members elected June 12

Community gathers at two Terrace schools to protest SD82

Participants carried signs reading ‘We demand transparency’

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

B.C. Interior First Nation family ‘heartbroken’ over loss of young mom

RCMP have released no new information since the June 8, 2019 homicide

Most Read