PacBio Plants 1st Seedling in Bobtail Fire Biomass Recovery Area

Pacific BioEnergy Corp. (PacBio) today achieved another milestone by planting its 1st seedling in the Bobtail Fire Biomass Recovery Area west of Prince George. In 2015, the Bobtail area was hit by a major early season wildfire which burned an area covering 25,533 hectares. The extent of the damage in the fire area prevented salvage by the traditional forest industry.

In 2019, PacBio reached agreement with one of the major licensees in the area to salvage some of the burned fibre utilizing their bioenergy license. In order to complete the harvesting, PacBio hired several local contractors to harvest the burned fibre and truck it to the company’s PG Plant to make wood pellets. Had this harvesting not occurred, the fibre would have remained on site and decayed in the forest releasing greenhouse gases for many years.

Through tree planting and utilizing this fibre, PacBio has effectively changed the Bobtail fire area from a carbon source to a carbon sink while at the same time restoring the forest ecosystem and reforesting the site for the benefit of future generations.

PacBio CEO John Stirling stated, “Today is another milestone event for PacBio. We’ve led the wood pellet industry in the development of innovative fibre supply strategies including grinding and trucking harvest residuals which would have been ‘piled and burned’. Harvest residuals include low-grade, beetle-killed, and deciduous logs that the sawmills and pulp and paper mills can’t use. Our ability to access this material has allowed us to supplement our fibre supply and keep our PG Plant operating. It has also enabled us to help advance reforestation of this area that was devastated by the 2015 wildfire by planting over 1 million seedlings in the coming weeks. In addition to the fibre supply, and carbon benefits, we are pleased to support local employment in these challenging times.”

John Stirling, CEO, PacBio (left)
Alex Forrester, Regional Manager, Strategic Natural Resource Consultants (middle)
Joe Kenny, Woodlands Manager, PacBio (right)

Thanks to Employees, Contractors & Suppliers

As we say goodbye to April and welcome the start of May with its longer days and warmer temperatures, I want to thank the outstanding team at Pacific BioEnergy, our suppliers, and our contractors for stepping up and doing a fantastic job during this Covid-19 pandemic.

The BC Wood Pellet industry was declared an essential service in mid-March and our customers in Europe and Japan are grateful for everyone’s dedication. Our product is essential to their power production and I want to pass along their thanks to our team.

To support our operations, we have developed new policies, procedures, training, and communication for employees and contractors. We’ve all learned new safety and physical-distancing protocols that have enabled our plant to operate fairly smoothly through this historic time. This has allowed our staff to continue working to support their families and for that we are also grateful. Again, thank you for your dedication, commitment, and your positive approach during this unusual period. I also want to recognize the creativity and innovation of our team to ensure that we have an adequate supply of fibre to see us through break-up.

Thanks to our contractors and suppliers who help us continue to run our operations by adapting to the Covid-19 protocols at our Prince George Plant. Their staff have adapted to these changes with a positive attitude. I think it speaks very well to the ‘Can Do’ approach I’ve seen from our partners in Prince George.

As we look ahead to May and June, there is still considerable uncertainty as to when the lockdown measures will be lifted and just how the transition will take place. It does seem clear that the return to “normal” will come in stages and that it may take longer than we would like. Our Covid-19 protocols will remain in place until it is safe to modify or withdraw.

Our goal remains to continue providing our customers with the pellets we’ve promised them while continuing to work safely and observing our Covid-19 protocols. Thanks to everyone for helping us through this unprecedented period.

John Stirling

Pacific BioEnergy Hosts Major Government Announcement

The Prince George media were out in full-force in the early afternoon of November 13, 2019 as the Province of BC and Forest Enhancement Society BC (FESBC) announced $27 million in new projects to help make better use of lower-grade fibre or ‘biologs’ as they’ve come to be known. The Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Ravi Kahlon along with the Executive Director of FESBC, Steve Kozuki were on hand for the announcements. Several of the project representatives also attended to express their appreciation for government’s help and funding to get the projects going. Pacific BioEnergy’s Woodlands Manager, Joe Kenny, was available to discuss the two Pacific BioEnergy and two NAZBEC Limited Partnership projects that received FESBC funding.

The Pacific BioEnergy projects include:

  1. Forest Residual Grinding Project in Quesnel. This project will enable the use of uneconomic non-merchantable low-grade fibre from blocks harvested in the Quesnel Timber Supply Area.
  2. Grinding Roadside Residuals in McBride. This project will enable utilization of uneconomic, non-merchantable, low-grade fibre from harvesting activities in the McBride Community Forest.

The NAZBEC Limited Partnership projects include:

  1. Wildfire Risk Reduction #1. This project has been repurposed to focus on interface wildlife risk reduction around Nazko which is home to the Nazko First Nation.
  2. Wildife Risk Reduction #2. This project also focusses on wildfire risk reduction around Nazko through activities including; harvesting, understory pruning and thinning, and forest floor piling and burning where fibre utilization is feasible.

NAZBEC Limited Partnership is a company co-owned and operated by Pacific BioEnergy and the Nazko First Nation and stands as one of the first co-owned companies in the BC Bioenergy sector involving a BC First Nation. Following the project announcements and media interviews, Pacific BioEnergy hosted a tour of the Prince George Plant to Parliamentary Secretary Kahlon, FESBC Ex Dir Kozuki and others.

Metis Artist Erin Stagg Wins 1st Ever PG Chamber Of Commerce – Top Indigenous Business Of The Year Award

Erin Stagg says that she felt extremely honoured when she heard her name called at the 2019 Prince George Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards Gala on October 18, 2019 as the winner of the 1st ever Top Indigenous Business of the Year award. The PG Chamber initiated the new award as part of the annual Business Excellence Awards program to recognize the importance of indigenous owned businesses to the Prince George economy.

Pacific BioEnergy President and CEO, John Stirling presented Erin with her award. John says that Pacific BioEnergy is honoured to sponsor the Top Indigenous Business of the Year award that recognizes the best of indigenous business ownership. Pacific BioEnergy has a long-standing business partnership with the Nazko First Nation west of Quesnel and sponsoring the Top Indigenous Business of the Year award is another step in developing excellent working relationships with indigenous communities and entrepreneurs. John also extends best wishes to the other three finalists in the award category and commits to sponsoring the Top Indigenous Business of the Year award at the 2020 PG Chamber Business Excellence Awards.

Pacific BioEnergy President, John Stirling will transition to Chief Executive Officer

Pacific BioEnergy Corporation Board of Directors and current CEO and Chairman of the Board, Don Steele, announced today that John Stirling, current President will assume the position of Chief Executive Officer of Pacific BioEnergy Corporation effective July 01, 2019.

Don Steele will remain Chairman of the Board and continue to focus on Corporate Development and Strategies.

PACBIO President Speaks at PG Chamber Luncheon

On Thursday, June 13, PacBio President John Stirling was the keynote speakers at the Prince George Chamber of Commerce luncheon. He told the audience of about 60 that PacBio has been a bioenergy leader in Prince George for the past 25 years and credited the vision of John Swaan and support of Carrier Lumber for getting the company started. John talked about the positive partnerships that PacBio has with groups in the community such as UNBC, PG Humane Society, Prince George Chamber of Commerce and the City of Prince George. He told the audience that unlike the lumber and pulp & paper industries, the wood pellet sector doesn’t experience the ‘highs & lows’ of cyclical markets but has seen steady, stable growth since the 1990s. He said new partnerships with companies like Sumitomo Corporation of Japan will mean long-term contracts for wood pellets for the next 15 to 20 years. John said one of the key challenges to further growth for the BC Wood Pellet sector is access to fibre that the lumber and pulp & paper sectors don’t want. He said that PacBio and other pellet producers continue to work with the Province of BC, communities and First Nations to resolve the challenge.

PACBIO Welcomes Mr. Hamamoto

On Wednesday, June 5, PacBio welcomed a group of Sumitomo representatives including Mr. Manabu (Matt) Hamamoto, who is the new leader of Sumitomo’s Materials, Supplies and Real Estate Group in New York. Sumitomo purchased 48% of PacBio in 2017 and falls within Mr. Hamamoto’s responsibilities for Sumitomo. He toured the plant and met with PacBio Chairman and CEO, Don Steele, President John Stirling other staff. Mr. Hamamoto’s visit was marked with a special ‘tree planting’ ceremony at the entrance to the PG Plant. The planting of the tree celebrates the partnership between PacBio and Sumitomo and is a sign of good fortune for the future. A plaque commemorating the special ceremony was also placed in front of the tree. Mr. Hamamoto looks forward to working with everyone at PacBio and welcomes the opportunity to grow the business to the benefit of both PacBio and Sumitomo.

John Stirling (left), Mr. Manabu (Matt) Hamamoto (right)

Pacific BioEnergy Corporation Announces No Injuries Sustained During A Recent Fire Incident

Pacific BioEnergy Corporation’s management team at the Prince George Plant continues to investigate a fire that occurred on April 06, 2019. The incident was detected by employees at approximately 8:30 a.m. and Prince George Fire and Rescue was notified and were promptly on-site.

No injuries were sustained in this incident and the investigation into the cause is on-going. The Company’s priority at this time is to ensure the safety of all of its’ employees and contractors on site as they work through the investigation, assess the damage and generate a plan for safe recommissioning of the plant.

Wood Pellet Association of Canada Silo Fires Workshop

Shawn Bells, VP of Operations, Pacific BioEnergy, walked an audience through the events surrounding the company’s 2017 silo fire at a Prevention and Response workshop held in Prince George, BC on February 14, 2019.  The workshop was held by the Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) in co-operation with WorkSafe BC and featured Silo fire expert Henry Persson of the RISE Research Institute of Sweden as a guest speaker.



Skeena Sawmills and Pacific BioEnergy Announce Long Term Off-Take Agreement for Wood Pellets

For Immediate Release
January 31, 2019

Terrace, B.C. – Skeena Sawmills Ltd. and Pacific BioEnergy Corporation (PacBio) have entered into a long term off-take agreement for wood pellets. Under the terms of the agreement, PacBio will purchase all of the pellets produced at Skeena Sawmills’ new, state-of-the-art pellet plant, in support of PacBio’s long term supply agreements with power producers in Japan. Skeena’s pellet plant is built adjacent to its sawmill in Terrace, B.C., and will commence production in Q1 2019.

“Skeena’s pellet plant provides a critical outlet for residual fibre from the sawmill and builds on our commitment to maximizing value from the forest resource and generating local jobs from local logs in Northwestern British Columbia,” said Rick Harris, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Skeena Sawmills. “Our $20 million investment to build a pellet plant, combined with this long-term strategic partnership with PacBio to serve international markets for bioenergy, supports the sustainability of both our business model and the regional forest economy.”

Commenting on the agreement, John Stirling, President, of PacBio said, “This agreement with Skeena Sawmills contributes to our growing presence serving Japan’s demand for bioenergy products and advances our vision of bringing greater value to B.C.’s forest industry. I want to thank Paul Kalil, PacBio’s VP of Corporate Development, and Rick for leading the development of this Agreement. We look forward to further developing our relationship with Skeena.”

About Skeena Sawmills

Skeena Sawmills Ltd. is a Canadian corporation headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, with sawmill and forest operations in Terrace, BC. Its sawmill has a capacity of approximately 120 million board feet of lumber production annually and is located 135 kilometers from the Port of Prince Rupert, BC. Skeena Sawmills is one of the largest Pacific Coast Hemlock sawmilling facilities in British Columbia, producing a wide variety of quality Hem-Fir products for domestic and international markets.

About Pacific BioEnergy Corporation

Pacific BioEnergy Corporation is a leading manufacturer and internationally recognized supplier of wood pellet biomass fuel to industrial purchasers worldwide. The company is based in Prince George, BC with its head office in Vancouver, BC.

Media Contacts

Rick Harris
Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Phone (604) 612-0073

John Stirling
Phone (604) 602-1099