Straw Pellet Facility
The Wintergreen Pellets team are building a straw pellet production facility in the heart of Alberta’s prairie country. The planned facility will be capable of producing between 50,000 tonnes and 60,000 tonnes of straw pellets annually. The facility will be focusing on producing straw pellets but will have the capability to produce alternative biomass pellets if there is a demand for them. The primary use for the straw pellets will be as a fuel source for power and heat generation. Straw pellets are a renewable resource that will aid in the global push to phase out fossil fuels. The Wintergreen Pellets team will also be exploring additional uses for the straw pellets which include, but may not be limited to, animal bedding, chemical absorbent, cement plant kiln fuel and pond algae clean up. This will not only create a new industry in Alberta that will equal that to the wood pellets industry but also provide an additional revenue stream for farmers. Excess straw that otherwise went unused, will now have a dollar value for Albertan farmers.
Wintergreen Pellets has partnered with UBC to execute their pilot project. The UBC’s Biomass and Bioenergy Research Group (BBRG) have embarked on a four year project (2019-2023) exploring the production, logistics and commercialization of marketable pellets from underutilized low quality biomass in Canada. It is a $2.4 million project that is funded by the federal government under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Wintergreen Pellets is an industrial partner of BBRG and will maintain, manage and operate a newly purchased densification plant (pellet mill SPC PP150) on behalf of the BBRG team. This will allow the Wintergreen Pellets team to produce and test pellets, optimizing them to be the most energy efficient possible.
The success of the pilot project will provide Wintergreen Pellets with the confidence and security that the straw pellets are an equal to the wood pellets produced in Canada. This will attract national and international supply agreements at which point Wintergreen Pellets will be able to secure financing to develop and build their production facility.
The demand for wood pellets in Europe and Asia continue to increase as countries continue to move away from fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal for their power and heat generation. Canada has already established itself as a leader in wood pellet supply, however as demand increases and supply of raw feedstock decreases (due to a reduction in forestry activity and pulp and paper demand) the world is looking for alternative sources. Alberta has an abundant source of straw that is underutilized and sits idle, decomposing releasing GHG to the atmosphere. Straw pellets have very similar characteristics to wood pellets but the feedstock is readily available and easily accessible. We look forward to pioneering the straw pellet industry that will compliment both the wood pellet and agricultural industry’s.