Pinnacle Pellet Inc.’s upgrade is underway at its plant on South Lakeside Drive in Williams Lake. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Pinnacle Pellet Inc.’s upgrade is underway at its plant on South Lakeside Drive in Williams Lake. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Expansion underway at Pinnacle Renewable Energy plant in Williams Lake

Company will be required to pave the site and reduce visible emissions under the new permit

Construction is underway at the Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. plant in Williams Lake to expand its operations.

The company received its permit from the Ministry of Environment on Aug. 20, 2019 for the upgrade, followed by its development permit from the City of Williams Lake.

“We have also approved the stormwater drainage plan designed by qualified professionals,” said Hasib Nadvi, manager of planning and development for the City.

Under the new permit, the plant will continue to be expected to suppress fugitive dust from the entire site and continue to review its fugitive dust plan every year.

It will also be required to pave all surfaces to control fugitive emissions caused by vehicle traffic involved with the delivery and handling of biomass materials.

Read more: Pinnacle’s $30 million expansion project gets nod from Williams Lake council

If fugitive dust becomes a concern, the ministry may require Pinnacle to implement additional measures to control, monitor or assess fugitive dust emitting from the facility, the permit notes.

​New for the plant is the requirement to prepare a visible emission reduction plan for the belt dryer and rotary drum dryer, which the ministry will require no later than Nov. 20, 2019.

The plan must specify the operational steps and strategies that will be taken to reduce or eliminate visible particulate emissions from the dryers, install, operate and maintain an electronic visual monitoring system camera of the plant plume discharges that is visible to the plant control room operator and acceptable to the ministry.

Real time imagery from this system must be made accessible to the director upon request.

The Visible Emission Reduction Plan must be reviewed and submitted annually to the director as per section 4.1 reporting requirements and must immediately provide to the ministry, upon request, a copy of the plan.

During an open house in April in Williams Lake to discuss the proposed expansion, Pawel ‘Paul’ Pawlowski, director of energy and environment at Pinnacle Renewable Energy said the upgrade was necessary because of the change in the fibre supply.

“Over the last few years, there’s been a change in the fibre supply in the Cariboo region and the plant, in today’s fibre environment, can’t really handle what feed stock is out there,” Pawlowski said at the time. “What we’re really looking at doing is bringing in wetter material, which is the only material that is available today.”

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Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. appointed Scott Bax as chief operating officer in June 2019, replacing the company’s president and CEO Leroy Reitsma, who will remain on the board of directors.

The Tribune has reached out to Bax for an interview about the expansion.