Proposed pellet plant to export product to South Korea

By Erin Voegele | August 05, 2014

A proposed pellet plant under development near Mission, British Columbia, aims to produce wood pellets for export into industrial markets in South Korea and other Asian markets. The project is being developed by SMG Wood Pellet Inc., a subsidiary of Vancouver, British Columbia-based SMG Asset. The facility will be branded under the name Mission Wood Pellet.

Paul Adams, operations manager for SMG Wood Pellet, said engineering work on the facility is nearing completion. “We have fiber agreements in place for feedstock,” he said, adding that offtake agreements for the plant’s production are also in place. Air quality permits are being finalized, and the company is working to secure other needed permits. According to Adams, SMG plans to break ground on the project during the first quarter of next year, with operations beginning in the second or third quarter.

Once complete, the facility will have an installed capacity of 160,000 tons per year. Initial production will be in the range of 100,000 tons per year.

“This is going to be a first-of-its-kind facility in North America,” Adams said, noting it will feature state-of-the-art technologies and best practices with regard to fiber handling and processing. All of the fiber storage for the facility is under cover, Adams continued, noting the fiber will be protected by tent-style storage. Biomass feedstock will be processed as it is received, with the facility only having three to four days of feedstock on hand at a time.

According to Adams, the plant will feature two separate lines of diamond roll screening, one for dry fiber and another for green fiber. He also noted the facility will not feature any traditional conveying systems, rather the entire system will be enclosed and dust proof. The dryers feature a new technology that results in low particulate matter output. “Total particulate emissions without any filtration out of these dryers is under 40 mg per cubic meter of air discharge,” Adams said. Product loading into containers will also take place within a sheltered building, eliminating dust from that process.

Adams indicated most of the feedstock will be sourced from small lumber producers and value-added operators located within the Frasier Valley in British Colbumia. Some material is also likely to be sourced from Washington.

While this is the first pellet plant to be developed by SMG, Adams noted the company plans to expand its presence in the pellet industry. The company, he said, is open to setting up operations anywhere with a sustainable and viable fiber supply. Regarding SMG’s plan to target industrial markets in Asia, Adams said a political mandate in South Koreas to reduce carbon emissions came into effect this year and is scheduled to ramp up over the next 15 years. Demand for pellet in that market is significant, he continued.