The Wikwemikong Development Commission (Wikwemikong) is proposing to develop and construct a biomass wood pellet manufacturing facility with a production capacity of up to 150,000 tonne per year in Nairn Centre.
The fibre will be sourced from the North Shore, Sudbury and Spanish Forests and local sawmills. The facility is anticipated to produce conventional 6mm wood pellets, meeting the latest in ENplus and CANplus certifications. However, the plant design will allow production of an industrial pellet should demand occur in this sector of the industry.
According to the Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC), even a mere 3% of non-natural gas heat and hot water markets in Canada if converted would amount to almost 2.3 M tonnes of wood pellets per year. WPAC suggests wood pellet demand for the residential market is expecting to increase significantly in the next decade. The European Union is focused on reaching its goal to reduce emissions by 80 percent before 2050 and is using renewable energy to do so.
Further, industry analysts show that demand is exceeding supply. According to a feasibility analysis produced for OMNRF, regarding the proposed Nairn facility, “with global production of about 22 million tonnes per year in 2013, and the forecast for power and heating pellets in excess of 50 million tonnes per year by 2024, there is a capacity gap that will have to be filled by new production capacity. In North America, if all of the projects currently in development, are built, about 4.2 million tonnes per year of new capacity will be online by the end of 2016. (FutureMetrics).