Resolute Forest Products has secured a contract to supply wood pellets to an Ontario electrical generating station, and will build an industrial wood pellet plant adjacent to the company’s sawmill in Thunder Bay, Ont., to do so.
The move takes the forest products company in a new direction.
“Wood pellets are a clean, renewable energy source, and together with other biofuel opportunities, a natural diversification target for Resolute," said Richard Garneau, president and CEO. “This project provides the opportunity to enhance the use of our existing asset base to produce biofuel for a strategic, committed consumer and allows the company to gain valuable manufacturing experience in commercial biomass production."
Resolute has signed a ten-year agreement to supply Ontario Power Generation with 45,000 tonnes of pellets annually, to fuel the Atikokan station, which is currently being converted to burn biomass to produce electricity.
Construction of the pellet plant is expected to begin shortly and is scheduled for completion in 2014. Resolute is investing about $10 million in the project. It is expected to create 24 new jobs.
Resolute Forest Products produces a diverse range of products, including newsprint, commercial printing papers, market pulp and wood products.
Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has also awarded a contract for the supply of 45,000 tonnes of biomass wood pellets to Atikokan Renewable Fuels.
With more than 200 MW of generating capacity, Atikokan generating station will be the largest capacity 100-percent-biomass fuelled plant in North America.