Regional District of Bulkley Nechako approves rezoning of site for Pinnacle Pellet's proposed 400 tonne/year pellet plant in Burns Lake, British Columbia
BURNS LAKE, British Columbia
June 29, 2010
(Lakes District News)
– Pinnacle Pellet Inc. are forging ahead with their plans to locate a pellet plant in the Burns Lake area, approximately 3.5 km south east of the Hampton Affiliates Babine Forest Products mill site.
Wood feedstock from Babine Forest Products, Hampton Affiliates owned Decker Lake Forest Products and residue from other local sources will be processed into wood pellets at the proposed Burns Lake facility.
The pellet plant will have an annual output capacity of 400 tonnes of pellets per year.
An on site administration office is also set to be located at the plant.
The chosen site is currently owned by the province, which has authorized McElhanney Engineering Ltd. to act as the applicant on behalf of Pinnacle Pellet Inc.
Pinnacle Pellet is currently working with the Integrated Land Management Bureau to secure an interim license of occupation with the intent to lease or purchase the provincially owned property.
McElhanney Engineering Ltd. filed an application to the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako (RDBN) to rezone the 52 hectare property from H2 [large holdings] and RR1 [rural resource] to M2 [heavy industrial].
Brock Martin and Craig Lodge, representatives from Pinnacle Pellet Inc. recently attended a public hearing held at the RDBN asking for public comment regarding the proposed rezoning application.
Then last week during an RDBN board meeting directors unanimously supported the application for rezoning of the property.
Rezoning will allow the site to be used for the proposed pellet plant and all associated operations including a railway spur line.
According to the RDBN planning department report the pellet plant was previously planned to be located closer to the Babine Forest Products sawmill, however geo-technical issues determined this site was not acceptable and Pinnacle Pellet were forced to relocate a further four kilometres away.
According to Martin and Lodge's report, Pinnacle Pellet wish to use the summer construction season in order to take advantage of optimum weather conditions.
"We would like to start construction by mid July 2010 and finish the construction schedule at the end of October 2010," they said.
Pinnacle Pellet is also going through the process to obtain a permit from the Ministry of Environment (MOE) to authorize the discharge of air emissions from the plant.
The company also has to go through an approval process with the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (MOTI).
Mike Lorimer district manager, MOTI transportation Bulkley Stikine District said, "The purpose of this study is to determine whether or not the proposed project will have a significant impact on the highway infrastructure and whether or not any improvements will be required to accommodate the increased traffic associated with the proposed development."
The RDBN planning department say the area is very suitable for new industrial development with limited residential areas, with the closest residence being over one kilometre away.
The proposed site is separated from the highway by an elevated well treed so the plant is not expected to be visible from the highway.
Pinnacle Pellet have also offered to prohibit the removal of any vegetation in an area within 50 metres of the Endako River and associated wetlands, other than the removal of vegetation necessary to accommodate the railway spur line.
The plant will be connected into the main BC Hydro power line via a 138 kv line complete with 900 m2 substation, there will also be an on site back up generator.
A 5000,000 gallon water reservoir will also be constructed on site for the purpose of fire protection.
The company operates five other pellet production plants in B.C. including one in partnership with Canfor Ltd. and Moricetown First Nations in Houston.
The combined capacity of the five plants is over 750,000 tonnes annually, most of which is sold to the overseas markets including Europe, the United Kingdom and Japan.
Once the Burns Lake plant is up and running pellets will be transported from the site by railcars to west coast sea ports for international sale.