Business Briefs

By Pellet Mill Magazine | May 24, 2018

BioPower Sustainable Energy acquires Atikokan pellet plant
BioPower Sustainable Energy Corp., a subsidiary of True North Timber, has acquired the assets of the former Rentech pellet plant in Atikokan, Ontario. The company plans to sell both commercial pellets and residential heating pellets.

True North Timber agreed to acquire the assets of the Atikokan plant in December. The acquisition was completed Jan. 22. According to BioPower Sustainable Energy, the purchase allowed 25 local jobs to be maintained.

Documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in December indicate the base purchase price for the Atikokan assets was CAD $3.2 million.

The facility began operations in late 2014. At that time, Rentech said the nameplate capacity of the facility was 100,000 metric tons (MT). The facility supplied 45,000 MT per year to Ontario Power Generation.

Northern Forest Center wins industry award 
BBI International and Biomass Magazine named its annual industry award winners at the 11th International Biomass Conference & Expo in Atlanta, Georgia, in mid-April, naming the Northern Forest Center as recipient of its Excellence in Bioenergy Award.

The Excellence in Bioenergy award recognizes dynamic leaders in industry, academia and public policy that are fundamental to the growth of the bioenergy industry, demonstrating the drive and effort to help clear financial, technological or political hurdles that stymie expansion of the bioenergy industry. The Northern Forest Center has been instrumental in expanding modern wood heat in the Northeast U.S., with forest health and sustainability as the cornerstones of its work. Over the past 11 years, the NFC’s programs have helped to secure and leverage $189 million for projects that benefit the region’s communities, economy and forest stewardship, including support for 150 automated wood pellet heating systems.

Accepting the award on behalf of the NFC was Maura Adams.

Pinnacle enters new off-take contracts with Japanese customers
On May 2, Pinnacle Renewable Holdings Inc. released first quarter 2018 financial results, reporting it generated record first quarter revenue, and announcing it has entered into new off-take contracts with customers in Japan. During the company’s accompanying investor call, Robert McCurdy, chief executive officer of Pinnacle, discussed three contracts Pinnacle entered into during the quarter with customers in Japan. The first is an off-take contract with Ube for 70,000 metric tons per year (MTPY) of industrial wood pellets, with deliveries scheduled to begin in late 2019. The second is a long-term, take-or-pay contract that was signed April 23 with Tsusho Corp., a group member of Toyota. Under the Tsusho contract, Pinnacle will supply 30,000 MTPY of industrial wood pellets beginning in late 2021 for use in a Japanese power generation plant. Also on April 23, Pinnacle entered into a long-term, take-or-pay contract with Sumitomo Corp. for the supply of 75,000 MTPY of industrial wood pellets beginning in late 2022, for use in a Japan thermal power generation plant that is being converted to run on biomass.

Michigan Wood Fuels joins PFI
The Pellet Fuels Institute announced it has welcomed pellet manufacturer Michigan Wood Fuels back to the association. “We couldn’t be happier that Michigan Wood Fuels has made the decision to reengage with the Pellet Fuels Institute,” said PFI Executive Director Tim Portz. “If the PFI is going to be successful in its efforts to grow the market opportunity for our members, we have to have as many producers on board as we can.”

“Michigan Wood Fuels is delighted to join the PFI,” said Ben Rose, CEO of Michigan Wood Fuels. “We look forward to working together with PFI to expand the market and educate the public about the benefits of pellets and their many uses.”

Michigan Wood Fuels is a fully integrated, hardwood pellet production facility located in Holland, Michigan, with an annual production capacity of 50,000 tons.