Ontario pellet plant expected to begin operations in Q4

By Erin Voegele | August 06, 2014

Resolute Forest Products Inc. provided a brief update on the status of its pellet plant under development in Thunder Bay, Ontario, during its second quarter investor conference call. During the event, Richard Garneau, president and CEO of Resolute Forest Products, indicated the project is progressing on schedule and is expected to come online early in the fourth quarter.

Resolute Forest Products first announced plans to develop the pellet plant in late 2012.  Once complete, the project will have the capacity to produce 45,000 metric tons of wood pellet each year. The facility is located adjacent to the company’s existing Thunder Bay sawmill.

Pellet produced at the facility will be sold to Ontario Power Generation under a 10-year supply agreement. According to information previously announced by Ontario Power Generation, the pellets will be used to fuel its Atikokan Generating Station. The power plant is being converted to biomass to comply with Ontario law that bans coal-fired power generation after 2014. According to Ontario Power Generation, the Atikokan facility will be the largest 100 percent biomass-fueled power plant in America. Ontario actually reached its coal-free status several months prior to its goal in April, when Ontario Power Generation’s Thunder Bay Generating Station burned its last supply of coal.