Partnership Supports Local Jobs, Reduces Carbon Emissions

Grants of $3.9 million provided to Pinnacle Renewable Energy by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) are helping support jobs throughout the Interior and recover about 300,000 cubic metres of wood waste that otherwise would have been burned in slash piles.

A $500,000 allocation from those grants made it economical for Lavington Pellet Limited Partnership to recover 38,000 cubic metres of residual wood fibre (also known as “bio-logs”) from harvesting areas in the Monashee Mountains. The area’s steep terrain makes it difficult for wood grinders and traditional chip trucks to reach harvesting sites after logging is finished. However, with this funding, the uneconomic waste wood fibre could be hauled out at minimal additional cost by logging contractors already working in the area.

Lavington Pellet Limited Partnership in the Okanagan Valley is a joint venture between Pinnacle Renewable Energy and Tolko Industries Ltd. The project began in the winter of 2019-20 and is expected to last until March 2022.

“These companies are working together to support local jobs and produce a marketable wood product from residual fibre, while also reducing carbon emissions,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

“The crucial financial support provided by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC made this innovative project possible.”

Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development

The collaboration between FESBC and local forestry companies not only helps improve air quality by burning less wood waste, but also supports good-quality jobs for British Columbians in their communities. The strategy has resulted in a consistent supply of wood fibre for Lavington Pellet Limited Partnership.

“This funding allowed us to reduce carbon emissions through the utilization of harvest waste,” said Jason Fisher, vice-president fibre, Pinnacle Renewable Energy. “Harvest residuals are more costly to handle, process and transport than mill residuals, especially in areas with challenging geography like the regions around Lavington. FESBC’s support for this project turned into local benefits and helps us turn B.C. wood waste into a global carbon solution.”

The residual waste recovered by Lavington Pellet Limited Partnership was stored in Lumby and processed in the spring, when mill curtailments and road use bans were in effect. Having the additional waste fibre available for processing reduced layoffs for 35 direct employees and 80 truck drivers.

“It’s a win-win project that supports the environment, local industries and the economy by providing employment opportunities for local contractors,” said Dave Conly, operations manager, FESBC.

To learn more, visit the FESBC project pages or the BC Government website:


Aleece Laird
Communications Liaison
Forest Enhancement Society of BC
250 574-0221

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource
Operations and Rural Development
Media Relations
250 213-8172

Connect with the Province of B.C. at:

The Pinnacle of Emission Reduction and Fibre Recovery in Smithers

Smithers is contributing to the achievement of Canada’s and B.C’s climate change targets by diverting residual fibre from the Bulkley Timber Supply Area that would otherwise be burned due to the uneconomic haul distance to Pinnacle Renewable Energy’s newly developed Smithers Pellet Facility. This is a good example of what the transition to green sustainable bioeconomy looks like.

$1.2 million in funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) helped to bridge haul costs, meaning the residual fibre is now being delivered to the pellet facility as raw material to create a marketable product, instead of being piled and burned in a cut block in the forest. As a result, air quality is better protected because incineration of biomass is cleaner than open burning of wood piles, Pinnacle Renewable Energy’s customers are able to reduce their overall fossil fuel consumption, all the while creating family-supporting jobs.

“In recent years in the Bulkley Valley, there has been no feasible end destination for any pulp-logs or bio-logs , forcing licensees to burn high amounts of fibre that could have been used to produce energy,” said Josh McQuillin, Superintendent of Biomass, Pinnacle Renewable Energy. “Through this funding we were able to utilize nearly 90,000 cubic metres of fibre that would otherwise have been piled and burned.”

Pinnacle Renewable Energy has a log supply agreement with Pacific Inland Resources, a division of West Fraser and partners with them to recover residual material left behind after timber harvesting within West Fraser’s license area.

“Harvest residuals can add challenges where the logistics costs of transporting fibre from cut blocks to our plant are difficult, or where storage space is limited, as is the case with Smithers,” said Jason Fisher, Vice President Fibre, Pinnacle Renewable Energy. “We know that by turning harvest residuals into pellets we are putting the carbon in that fibre to good use.”

Pinnacle Renewable Energy applied for FESBC funding to help offset any incremental haul costs associated with hauling fibre from greater than five hours away, allowing for the recovery and utilization of fibre that would otherwise not be economically feasible.

“FESBC funding enables Pinnacle to utilize fibre otherwise too expensive to haul to their facility which helps Pinnacle reduce greenhouse gas emissions by avoiding the burning of that residual fibre,” said Gord Pratt, RPF, Operations Manager, FESBC. “We are pleased to support Pinnacle in reducing those emissions.”

Fisher said Pinnacle Renewable Energy recognizes the importance of reducing carbon emissions.

“Our customers buy our pellets to reduce their carbon emissions. FESBC funding allowed us to achieve that goal through enhanced fibre utilization,” said Fisher. “FESBC support turns into local benefits and helps us turn BC harvest residuals into a global carbon solution.”

McQuillin said additional community benefits include improved local air quality and employment opportunities for local contractors. The funding allowed Pinnacle Renewable Energy to find longer-term storage for a surge of fibre supply, resulting in employment continuity.

“We were able to divert fibre being produced by local contractors to an offsite storage facility where it was stored and then hauled to a pellet plant over break-up,” said McQuillin. “Without FESBC, our fibre supply needs in both Burns Lake and Smithers were challenged. Initiatives such as this help balance fibre needs as well as create and sustain several local jobs.”

This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada.

To find projects in your area, visit the FESBC projects pages:

For more information or to arrange interviews:
Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison
Forest Enhancement Society of BC | 250.574.0221

Terrace Community Forest Cuts Greenhouse Gas Emissions

TERRACE – A grant of $443,400 from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC to the Terrace Community Forest (TCF) is helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions and use wood fibre that would otherwise be burned.

The project, which got underway on June 1, 2020, will support an estimated four (full-time equivalent) jobs, through the grinding and trucking of waste wood fibre. The grant will allow TCF to ship the ground waste wood to Skeena Bioenergy’s new pellet plant in Terrace, where it will be used to manufacture wood pellets.

“One of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC’s goals is to support increased use of fibre from damaged or low-value forests,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “This project is a great example of how waste wood fibre can be redirected to support the production of high-quality wood pellets.”

The TCF has been thinning second-growth tree stands over the past few years within its tenure area, with white wood waste (hemlock and balsam) being brought to a processing area to be delimbed and cut to log length. About 15,000 cubic metres of hemlock and balsam were piled up to allow the wood to dry for two years. This curing period reduces the moisture content of the wood and decreases its weight, allowing more of it to be transported per truckload and lowering drying costs at the pellet plant.

TCF had stockpiled the wood waste for two years instead of burning it, hoping to find another way to utilize the fibre. The grant from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, which is supported by the B.C. government and the federal government, will help meet that objective.

Pellet plants often mix white wood with “hog fuel”, which is an unrefined mix of coarse chips of bark and wood fibre, to produce higher-quality pellets.

“Without this funding, we would be burning this fibre since it is otherwise uneconomical to transport it,” said Kim Haworth, general manager, TCF. “Now we can grind and store the white wood on site and supply the fibre to the pellet plant on an as-needed basis. We would rather see the fibre used, generate some revenue and provide economic, social and environmental benefits to our community.”

TCF is a company owned by the City of Terrace. It is managed by an appointed board that directs the general operation of the forest tenure. Its primary mandate is to create employment opportunities in the Terrace area, while financially supporting recreation and community groups that provide recreational activities within the Terrace Community Forest and the community.

“We are pleased to fund the Terrace Community Forest project,” said Gord Pratt, RPF, operations manager for the Forest Enhancement Society of BC. “In the long run, it will help improve future forest practices to increase fibre utilization and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the burning of residual fibre.”

To learn more, visit the BC Government website, here or the FESBC projects pages: