An application for a permit amendment for Pinnacle Pellet will be the subject of an upcoming open house in Williams Lake.
Rose Loerke, project leader at Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc., is inviting the community to the event coming up March 28 from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Tourism Discovery Centre, to share details of proposed upgrades to the Williams Lake plant, listen to members of the community and to have questions answered.
“We’re looking at proposing an upgrade to the Williams Lake facility to improve our flexibility to process a variety of different fibre,” Loerke said.
“We are requesting to add another dryer so we have the ability to process that fibre. Right now we’re a little bit constrained.”
When asked if the upgrade would impact air quality, Loerke said that is a hard question to answer because the air dispersion modeling doesn’t take into consideration the amount of bush residuals which will be used by Pinnacle Pellet rather than burned in the cutblocks.
Pinnacle Pellet’s amendment application to the ministry of environment requests an upgrade of its baghouse — the air pollution control device and dust collector — and to increase its airflow from 25 cubic metres per second to 30 cubic metres per second.
Pinnacle Pellet is also asking to add another low-temperature bed dryer — used to process large quantities of material — to be permitted at a particulate matter of 15 mg/m3 with a flow of 90 metres cubed per second. The new dryer is proposed to have an average discharge rate of 75 m3/s.
Asked what the percentage of production volume increase would be from current to future, Loerke said they are proposing to upgrade the facility to process a wider variety of fibre — not necessarily more.
“Our production will depend on the fibre profile in the region,” she said.
“The B.C. Interior faces changes in the wood fibre supply. Pinnacle must adapt to meet these changes in order to continue to support our employees, customers and the communities in which we operate. The proposed upgrades will allow us to process wood fibre from a wider range of sources including harvesting residuals that might otherwise be burned.”
Loerke also added Pinnacle Pellet in Williams Lake was originally designed to produce up to 210,000 metric tonnes annually, and said the upgrades will allow them to meet that capacity with a larger variety of fibre.
“Future truck delivery traffic should be comparable to historical traffic, as we aim to produce 210,000 metric tonnes of pellets from a wider variety of sources,” she said.
At the open house there will be light refreshments and snacks provided.