Swedes look into black pellet production in B.C.
Vattenfall, a company owned by the government of Sweden, is exploring the idea of turning wood from British Columbia's northwest, into pellets to burn in European power plants.
Officials from Vattenfall toured the Terrace area with a Finnish consulting and engineering company called Pöyry.
Rather than making the traditional wood pellet, Vattenfall is interested in making black pellets. Black pellets are made of wood that has been heated until it is more of a charcoal-like substance.
Sweden is looking to reduce the amount of coal it is burning in its power generating plants by replace the coal with an underutilized wood, or waste wood, source.
Vattenfall aims to identify a fibre source, then build pellet plants in the area with the goal of producing 250,000 tonnes of black pellets, per plant, per year. Approximately 600,000 cubic metres of fibre is required to produce that amount of pellets, employing at least 30-40 people in the plant, with additional employment for harvesters and drivers.
Vattenfall does not want to get into the logging business to obtain its fibre source. It would rather use the waste that is left behind, or that is under utilized.
British Columbia is not the only place Vattenfall is investigating for its source of fibre. The company is also looking at the fibre potential in Russia, the U.S., South America, and in West Africa. Other areas in eastern Canada are also being considered.
It is likely that more than one area will be used to fill Sweden's need for 10 million tonnes of black pellets by 2010. This goal would require 24 million cubic metres of fibre.
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