Wood pellet plant getting $24M expansion

February 17, 2010   by PLANT STAFF

Pacific BioEnergy, GDF SUEZ form a joint wood pellet venture.

Photo: Pacific BioEnergy

VANCOUVER: Pacific BioEnergy Corp. and GDF SUEZ have entered into a strategic partnership to jointly own and support a $24 million expansion of Pacific BioEnergy’s existing wood pellet production facilities (PG Plant) in Prince George, BC.

In addition to its minority interest in the joint venture, French energy company GDF SUEZ has also agreed to purchase 2.5 million tonnes of carbon-neutral wood pellets for its electrical generating facilities in Belgium over the next 10 years, replacing approximately 2-million tonnes of coal and reducing net carbon dioxide emissions by more than 4 million tonnes.

The expansion project, to be complete in the fall, will double annual wood pellet production to 350,000 tonnes. Pacific BioEnergy Corp., a Vancouver-based supplier of wood pellet biomass fuel, said new state-of-the-art emission control equipment will be installed, improving the air quality in and around Prince George.

The expanded PG Plant will also use more mountain pine beetle killed wood and other waste wood from the forests surrounding Prince George. Left to decompose, or be burned as slash, this biomass creates carbon dioxide and methane, a greenhouse gas that can trap 20 times more heat than carbon dioxide.

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