Pinnacle announces fiber supply agreement with ARM

By Erin Voegele | December 17, 2019

Pinnacle Renewable Energy announced on Dec. 16 it has entered into a three-year fiber supply agreement with Alkali Resource Management Ltd. Under the agreement, ARM will process, store and deliver biomass from harvest residuals to Pinnacle for use at its Williams Lake pellet plant in British Columbia.

ARM is a forest management company that is wholly owned by the Esk’etemc Nation. Pinnacle and Esk’etemc Nation have been collaborating to improve fiber utilization and to support economic development within Esk’etemc managed forests.

"We are excited to be working with the Esk'etemc and pleased that the agreement will contribute to the achievement of sustainable fiber supplies to fill the gap in sawmill residuals we have seen in the province this year," said Rob McCurdy, CEO of Pinnacle. "The agreement will enhance forest stewardship practices while generating new economic opportunities for the Esk'etemc Nation."

"The agreement will help support not only the forest activities of the Esk'etemc, but also helps support harvesting and hauling contractors engaged by ARM," added Gord Chipman, manager of ARM. "This is a positive development at a time of ongoing impacts of the sawmill closures and curtailments experienced in the region."

Pinnacle’s Williams Lake pellet plant currently has a production capacity of 210,000 metric tons per year. During a third quarter earnings call held in November, McCurdy discussed upgrades that are being made to the plant's fiber drying and air filtration equipment. He said that work is progressing on schedule and is expected to be complete during the first quarter of 2020. Similar upgrades are being made to the company’s Meadowbank facility, also located in British Columbia. Once complete, the upgrades are expected to boost the combined annual production of the plants by 80,000 metric tons.