Wood Business

Features Mills Sawmilling
Miramichi may add pellet plant

Aug. 26, 2014 - New Brunswick based company, Northern Energy Solutions (NES), has secured a New Brunswick crown lands wood allocation, moving it closer to the opening of a new wood pellet plant in Miramichi.

"We are very grateful for the 378 000m3 wood allocation from the Government of New Brunswick," said Ross Creelmen, Owner of NES. "With a secure wood allocation, we can now move forward with the next developmental phase of this project."

The construction of this $50 million plant is contingent on an investment grade feasibility study which requires a secured long-term wood allocation and a detailed analysis of the plant site.

NES is evaluating two sites in the region, the former UMP pulp and paper mill site in Newcastle and the former UMP ground wood mill in Nelson. The decision on location of the plant is expected by the end of October 2014.

With a planned production of 200 000 tonnes of wood pellets a year the NES mill would be one of the largest producers of wood pellets in eastern Canada.

NES wood pellets would be destined for industrial users in Europe to fuel co-fire coal plants and coal plants converted to burn pellets.

The new plant will use low value, low grade wood from the Miramichi region that is currently being underutilized, like some of the unused pulpwood, biomass, bark and mill residues like sawdust, and wood shavings. The NES plant will be complementary to other forestry producers in the region by purchasing those products.

"We all know that since the closure of the large pulp and paper producers, Miramichi has lacked a buyer for pulp, biomass and residual wood products like shavings and sawdust," said Creelman.

The new plant will also be looking to procure another 100 000 m3 of wood fibre from private wood lot owners and First Nations Groups.

The NES plant is expected to open by late 2016 to early 2017. Once operational it will employ up to 100 people in the Miramichi region.

Northern Energy Solutions is being led by industry pioneer Ross Creelman. He has more than 20 years experience in wood pellet production and opened one of Canada's first wood pellet plants in 1992.