Pellet plant, contracts to help Thunder Bay and Atikokan
Thunder Bay to see new plant built by Resolute Forest Products with 10-year OPG contract
Posted: Nov 23, 2012 3:44 PM ET
Last Updated: Nov 23, 2012 3:41 PM ET
Resolute Forest Products will build a plant in the Thunder Bay area to make industrial wood pellets.
The company will spend $10 million to construct a plant adjacent to its sawmill on the Fort William First Nation, creating 24 jobs as a result. Pierre Choquette, Canadian director of public affairs for Resolute, said it's the company's first venture into the pellet business.
“Well it's the first step towards Resolute developing a new sector, a new product,” he said. “We're talking about pellets that are basically made out of the sawdust.”Industrial wood pellets are made from sawdust. (CBC)
Choquette said construction of the plant will begin soon, with completion set for 2014. Wood pellets will be shipped to Atikokan for use at the Ontario Power Generation plant outside that community. Resolute has signed a 10-year agreement to supply OPG with 45,000 metric tons of pellets annually.
"This project provides the opportunity to enhance the use of our existing asset base to produce biofuel for a strategic, committed consumer and allows the company to gain valuable manufacturing experience in commercial biomass production,” Richard Garneau, president and CEO, was quoted in a press release, which also noted the venture would improve “the long-term viability of the sawmill and the approximately 350 jobs that it supports.”
‘Good news for us’
Atikokan Renewable Fuels is also welcoming a contract from Ontario Power Generation.
The company will supply half the biomass wood pellets the power plant will need after it's converted from coal. Resolute Forest Products will supply the other half.
Ed Fukushima said the contract means he can proceed with getting machinery into the former fiberboard plant in Atikokan.
“We've owned that empty facility for three years, and it's been a struggle,” he said.
“We've had to fund the whole project by ourselves up to this point until we actually obtained a supply contract. So this is very good news for us.”
Fukushima said it's also good news for Atikokan, because his company will employ about 45 people.
He says he's been told another 100 workers will be needed in woodlands operations.
Although it has a contract with OPG for the Atikokan generating station, Atikokan Renewable Fuels will send most of its product to Europe. The plant capacity will be 140, 000 tons per year. At total of 45,000 tons will go to the OPG plant.
"We had hoped that we would get a larger percentage of (the contract) but OPG always said they were going to use multiple suppliers,” Fukushima said.
According to information from OPG, the Atikokan plant will be the largest capacity, 100 per cent biomass-fuelled plant in North America. It will have more than 200 megawatts of generating capacity.
Latest Thunder Bay News Headlines
- Man admits to removing dead bear's paws, head
- The mystery surrounding a bear carcass that was found without its head and paws earlier this month has been solved. more »
- Deal to protect boreal forest caribou fails
- Three years of negotiations between Resolute Forest Products and environmental groups aimed at protecting parts of Canada's boreal forest have ended in failure, with talks breaking down over how much land to set aside for conservation. more »
- Flood warning lifted for Thunder Bay, some roads remain closed
- The city of Thunder Bay is breathing a sigh of relief now that the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority has ended its flood warning for the city. more »
- Michipicoten River watershed under flood warning
- The Ministry of Natural Resources issued a flood warning Tuesday afternoon for the Michipicoten River watershed, near White River and Wawa. more »
Top News Headlines
- Tim Bosma memorial draws standing-room crowd
- The 1,000 chairs set up in a Hamilton banquet hall for the memorial of slain Hamilton man Tim Bosma are already filled, but that hasn't stopped others from filtering into the building where the husband and father celebrated his wedding three years ago. The memorial for Tim Bosma is live now from Carmen's Banquet Hall in Hamilton, Ont. more »
- Video forensics: How easy would it be to fake a Rob Ford video?
- Two media outlets reported last week that they had seen a cellphone video of Mayor Rob Ford allegedly smoking crack, a claim that has gone global. If a video does surface, how easy would it be to determine its authenticity? CBC News asked video forensic analyst David McKay. more »
- Oklahoma residents begin to return home after deadly tornado
- Rescue workers raced to complete the search for survivors and the dead in the Oklahoma City suburb where a mammoth tornado destroyed countless homes, cleared lots down to bare red earth and claimed 24 lives, including those of nine children. more »
- Xbox One: A closer look
- The design, performance, Kinect camera, controller, requirements and limitations of Microsoft's Xbox One get a critical look. more »
- Man being questioned in Boston bombing probe shot dead by FBI
- The FBI says a man being questioned by authorities in the Boston bombing probe was fatally shot after he initiated a violent confrontation during an interview with officers in Orlando, Fla. more »