Premier John Horgan joined Robert McCurdy, CEO of Pinnacle Renewable Energy, and Fumiaki Miyamoto, president and CEO, Mitsui & Co (Canada) Ltd., as they signed a contract that will see Pinnacle export 100,000 tonnes of industrial wood pellets to Japan annually to fuel Mitsui’s new biomass power generation plant. Exports will begin in 2023.
“Long-term prosperity for forest workers and forest communities means finding new markets and getting more value from forest products,” Premier Horgan said, in a news release. “Pinnacle is creating a new export opportunity that will generate good jobs in B.C. communities, while transforming wood waste into industrial pellets to provide Japan with clean, renewable electricity. It’s a win-win.”
Pinnacle Renewable Energy is the largest supplier of industrial wood pellets to Japan and the third-largest supplier of industrial wood pellets in the world. This new contract will significantly increase the company’s production in B.C. Pinnacle operates manufacturing facilities in Quesnel, Williams Lake, Houston, Hixon, Armstrong, Lavinton and Burns Lake, and export facilities in Prince Rupert and Vancouver.
“We are very pleased to be furthering our company growth, while supporting the B.C. economy through our growing exports of industrial wood pellets to Asia,” McCurdy said. “Our growing relationship with the international community and Japan’s commitment to decarbonization continues to have a positive impact right here at home in our B.C. communities.”
With temporary and permanent mill closures the focus of much of the new surrounding the forest industry this year, the province is certainly welcoming the good news.
“The end of the mountain pine beetle harvest and low lumber prices, and the ongoing Canada/U.S. trade dispute are creating real uncertainty in many interior communities,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “But the value of wood pellet exports continues to grow, and I believe that as forest companies and communities come together to map out their futures, value-added wood products like mass timber and industrial wood pellets will become more important.”
Pinnacle is a rapidly growing industrial wood pellet manufacturer and distributor and the third-largest producer in the world.
Japan is B.C.’s third-largest trading partner at $5.1 billion in export goods in 2018. Exports to Japan increased by 13% in 2018 over 2017 (up $584 million).