Arterran Renewables continues to advance plans to site their bio-pellet plant on the North Island for the manufacture industrial wood fibre pellets to replace coal and reduce carbon emissions. They signed a lease with the current owners of the Port Alice pulp mill site on August 18 for a term of one year for a fee of one dollar. The lease will come into effect once a memorandum of understanding is drafted regarding the mill’s purchase.
“It’s a process,” states Arterran’s Director of Business Development, David Tiessen. “If we can agree on terms for acquisition, Fulida will allow us to proceed with our commercial demonstration, under the lease agreement…” He adds, “Running parallel to Port Alice are alternative locations to site the commercial demonstration so as to not to delay the demonstration plant from advancing and we look forward to making a public announcement by year end.”
Arterran is submitting the required documents for the final stages of a federal grant application. If approved, the grant, along with the financial resources of the developers of Arterran, will provide a platform to initiate the demonstration plant. “Through the commercial demonstration, Arterran will produce fuel for waiting potential customers and this will lead to long term take off agreements,” states Tiessen, adding “these agreements will then be presented to the bank for standard scale-up financing.”
Arterran is engaged with forestry companies, First Nation as well as Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development with the aim of securing feedstock and forestry partners.
Tiessen says it will be difficult to pin down exactly when pellet production will begin “due to staged variables.” After 2-3 months for ordering materials and construction, they estimate they can begin production the second quarter of 2020.
Arterran has a number of potential future customers waiting to test their product. A municipal generation unit in the US is looking to acquire 3400 tonnes of pellets to test in place of coal at a municipal generation unit. A Japanese trading house intends to walk through their commercial demonstration prior to contracting 300,000 t/yr. A German utility seeks to license their technology after the demonstration and deploy in Brazil. A Swedish utility is planning to close a 400mw coal plant unless they can find a biofuel to power it instead. India is seeking to replace 10% of coal because it is a cheaper source of power.
When asked about what is to be done about the three million dollar tax bill that is owed to the Village of Port Alice, Tiessen said they have no way of knowing at this time. He added, “We share a good, open dialogue with the Village of Port Alice. They wish to see us succeed, are very supportive, and we plan to be a socio-economic solution provider for the North Island delivering a sustainable fuel and environmental solution to the world.”
Arterran is aware of the environmental cleanup being done by the province at the site that has added up to five million at the end of phase one. Tiessen admits that “…BC will have a claim on the assets and there’s nothing we can do about the past. We are a socio-economic and environmental solution for the future, not the past. Every community we site a 150,000 t/yr project is a $30 million investment into that community creating 51 FTE + supporting over 200 non direct positions. Currently we have three, possibly four island locations suitable with fibre to support siting 150,000 t/yr plant and these projects will advance after the commercial demonstration.”
According to Arterrans’ estimates, each 150 K facility will support a total of 271 jobs, $16,819,545 total in wages and salaries, $4,709,473 in tax revenue and $2,160,00 corporate tax revenue.
– Debra Lynn article