Canadian government awards nearly $1 million to WPAC

By Erin Voegele | July 26, 2019

The government of Canada is investing nearly $1 million in the Wood Pellet Association of Canada in an effort to strengthen international demand for Canadian wood products. The award was announced as part of $24 million funding package.

The Canadian government announced July 24 a multi-year investment of more than $24 million in six wood product associations based in British Columbia to help strengthen international demand for Canadian wood products.

The investment includes $926,360 for the WPAC. The group, based in Revelstoke, British Columbia, is a member-driven organization for wood pellet producers that aims to advance the interest of domestic wood pellet products, to help members grow through promoting the use of wood pellets in Canada and global markets, and to support market and technical research and encourage fair and open energy trade.

Other investments include $16.79 million for the Canada Wood Group, $3.39 million for Forest Innovation Investment, $1.93 million for the Council of Forest Industries, $944,028 for BC Wood Specialties Group, and $33,000 for the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association.

The funding is provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Expanding Markets Opportunities program, which supports market development for Canada’s forest products industry.

"The wood pellet industry has grown from almost nothing to 35 million tons a year globally in 25 years,” said Vaughan Bassett, president of WPAC. “Canadian pellet producers have been part of that astonishing growth from the beginning, exporting our first ship-load of pellets to Sweden in 1998. Today, Canadian pellet companies export around 3 million tons a year, contributing to Canada's economy, jobs growth at home, forest health and the global roll-out of renewable, on-demand electricity, all while optimizing the beneficial use of waste residuals from the forestry sector. This success story has been strongly supported by the Government of Canada's Expanding Market Opportunities (EMO) program. EMO has enabled us to be fully engaged in seeking out new customers in our export markets, carrying out market research, developing international quality standards, solving market access issues, demonstrating Canadian forest and wood pellet sustainability and many other areas of export market development. We see ongoing funding as crucial to the future growth of Canada's share of business in key export markets, particularly those in Asia and Europe."