Value-added forest exports create new opportunities for B.C. forest workers

October 18, 2019

By: The Working Forest Staff

By the Office of the Premier, Government of British Columbia –The Government of British Columbia welcomed a long-term export contract for B.C. forest products that will create long-term stable jobs for forest workers and forest-dependent communities.

Mitsui and Pinnacle Contract Signing: (from left) Fumiaki Miyamoto, President & CEO of Mitsui & Co, Canada, John Horgan, Premier of B.C., Robert McCurdy, CEO of Pinnacle Renewable Energy (CNW Group/Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc.)

Premier John Horgan joined Robert McCurdy, CEO of Pinnacle Renewable Energy, and Fumiaki Miyamoto, president, and CEO, Mitsui & Co (Canada) Ltd., as they signed a contract that will see Pinnacle export 100,000 tonnes of industrial wood pellets to Japan annually to fuel Mitsui’s new biomass power generation plant. The contract will generate significant new revenue for B.C.’s economy. Exports will begin in 2023.

“Long-term prosperity for forest workers and forest communities means finding new markets and getting more value from forest products,” Premier Horgan said. “Pinnacle is creating a new export opportunity that will generate good jobs in B.C. communities while transforming wood waste into industrial pellets to provide Japan with clean, renewable electricity. It’s a win-win.”

Pinnacle Renewable Energy is the largest supplier of industrial wood pellets to Japan and the third-largest supplier of industrial wood pellets in the world. This new contract will significantly increase the company’s production in B.C. Pinnacle operates manufacturing facilities in Quesnel, Williams Lake, Houston, Hixon, Armstrong, Lavington and Burns Lake, and export facilities in Prince Rupert and Vancouver.

“We are very pleased to be furthering our company growth while supporting the B.C. economy through our growing exports of industrial wood pellets to Asia,” McCurdy said. “Our growing relationship with the international community and Japan’s commitment to decarbonization continues to have a positive impact right here at home in our B.C. communities.”

The B.C government is supporting workers who have been affected by supply issues and market challenges, while working with trade partners to expand markets, attract investment and encourage growth in B.C.’s value-added wood products manufacturing industry.

“The end of the mountain pine beetle harvest and low lumber prices, and the ongoing Canada/U.S. trade dispute are creating real uncertainty in many interior communities,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “But the value of wood pellet exports continues to grow, and I believe that as forest companies and communities come together to map out their futures, value-added wood products like mass timber and industrial wood pellets will become more important.”

British Columbia has one of the world’s most sustainable, innovative and competitive forest sectors.

Quick Facts:

  • Pinnacle is a rapidly growing industrial wood pellet manufacturer and distributor and the third-largest producer in the world.
  • As part of ongoing work to promote trade and investment, Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade, and Technology, met with Mitsui & Co. on a trade mission to Asia in March 2019. 
  • Japan is one of B.C.’s top markets for forest products and value-added wood products.
  • Japan is B.C.’s third-largest trading partner at $5.1 billion in export goods in 2018. Exports to Japan increased by 13% in 2018 over 2017 (up to $584 million).
  • In September 2019, the government announced the allocation of $69 million for measures to support Interior forest workers, contractors, and communities.

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