An investigation into what caused a small fire at Pacific BioEnergy’s Prince George Plant on Friday evening continues. Crews from four halls of the Prince George Fire and Rescue department responded to a call at approximately 8:00 p.m. The crew from Pacific BioEnergy immediately actioned the fire but called Prince George Fire and Rescue for backup when smoke began to enter the adjacent production building making it unsafe to continue to action. The fire originated in the cooler exhaust stack and was isolated to the stack and incoming ductwork. There were no injuries as a result of the incident. The heat from the fire compromised the structural integrity of the exhaust stack which has been removed for replacement. A full investigation into the cause of the fire will be conducted.
Shawn Bells, Vice President, Operations for Pacific Bioenergy states “We want to thank both the Prince George Fire and Rescue department for its quick response to the incident at our plant on Friday evening. I also want to sincerely thank our staff on duty that evening. It is clear that the time and resources we’ve invested in our people in safety and emergency response training is working. It is also clear that the investments in safety monitoring systems that we’ve made during the past several years are also paying dividends. The situation was contained quickly and effectively by the combined response of the Prince George Fire and Rescue department and our own Pacific BioEnergy team.”
Pacific BioEnergy is Canada’s second largest wood pellet producer with an annual production of 510,000 tons. The company owns a large wood pellet manufacturing plant in Prince George and also manages wood pellet plants in Chetwynd and Fort St John in partnership with Canfor. Since Pacific BioEnergy was founded in 1994 it has exported approximately 3.5 million tons of wood pellets to markets in Europe and Asia. Pacific BioEnergy’s Prince George plant has significantly helped improve air quality by taking material formerly burned in beehive burners and using the material to produce renewable wood pellets for use in power plants in Europe and Asia.
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