Newly Installed Stela Bed Dryer Helps Pinnacle’s Williams Lake Facility to Run Wider Array of Fiber

Wood pellet plants have long relied on sawmill residue as their source of fiber. However, recent mill closures due to weak lumber prices and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with pests and wildfires have all negatively impacted pellet plants ability to source from their typical fiber sources. As a result, many pellet manufactures have turned to alternative sources of fiber, such as bush residual and hog fuel. However, some pellet plants are not built to handle the diverse fiber diet. That was the case for the Pinnacle Renewable Energy’s William Lake B.C., facility. To combat this issue, in Q1 2019, the company decided to move forward with plans to upgrade the dryer at the Williams Lake facility, transitioning from a rotary dryer to a Stela bed dryer. Work on the project began in in Q4 2019. Despite some delays caused by COVID-19, the upgrade was completed late this summer. With the new Stela bed dryer, the plant can now run a wider array of fiber types because it increases the amount of water that can be evaporated from the available fiber, Fisher says. This allows the facility to consume more sawdust, hog and bush grind.

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