Atikokan pellet plant under new ownership
BioPower purchase complete; company says all jobs at plant will be maintained
A pellet plant in Atikokan has a new owner.
BioPower Sustainable Energy Corporation announced Thursday that it has purchased the former Rentech plant in the northwestern Ontario township.
The plant produces commercial grade wood pellets, which are used at the Ontario Power Generation plant near Atikokan.
BioPower CEO Mark Guillemette said the company had been looking for ways to expand and diversify.
"We've been wanting to get into advanced manufacturing," he said. "It helps diversify what we know, and we can bring our expertise that we have in the forestry side of things into advanced manufacturing, as well."
Guillemette said the plant is in good shape, and currently producing 45,000 metric tonnes of wood pellets yearly.
"It's definitely an emerging market," he said. "Pellets are a big thing in Europe, and the U.S., and Canada, as well, so we feel it's the start of a newer market."
All jobs maintained
The sale was actually completed in January. All 25 jobs at the plant will be maintained, BioPower said in a media release.
"We know what jobs mean to small communities," he said. "We're very happy with the facility as it is today, with the contract it has with OPG."
"We're definitely looking at getting into different markets," Guillemette said. "If we don't find different markets, we're still happy."
Guillemette said the company intends to start producing pellets that can be used in residential heating systems.
Guillemette wouldn't say what BioPower paid for the plant.