Pinnacle Renewable Energy has suspended its dryer upgrade project in Williams Lake until equipment vendors can be onsite for commissioning purposes without any restrictions.
As one of the world’s leading manufacturers and distributors of industrial wood pellets, Pinnacle said operations at all of its facilities currently remain unimpacted and that employees are focused on work safety while adjusting to the recommended COVID-19 practices, including social distancing, thorough hand washing, avoiding close contact with others, and regular cleaning and disinfecting of objects and surfaces.
“These practices have also been enforced for fiber deliveries and other visitors to all Pinnacle facilities,” a news release stated Thursday.
The Williams Lake facility continues to operate with the current dryer in place.
Pinnacle Renewable Energy CEO Rob McCurdy who previously announced his retirement effective May 5, 2020, said he has now committed to remain with Pinnacle through this crisis until October 31, 2020.
Pinnacle said it does not expect demand for pellets to be impacted as it has long-term take or pay contracts with its customers in place, and in the event power consumption declines, it is expected that use of other non-renewable fuels will be reduced ahead of any reduction in wood pellet use.
Pinnacle added, however, in the event of a possible recession due to the COVID-19 health threat, demand for lumber could be reduced, thereby impacting the supply of sawmill residual fiber. In this case, Pinnacle said it has a strategy in place for use of harvest residuals and increased inventories that it has been utilizing as a result of sawmill curtailments experienced in B.C.
“Pinnacle’s Management team continues to monitor the situation around the COVID-19 health threat and the potential impacts to the business, our employees and communities,” McCurdy said. “We are currently in a solid operational position and have strong liquidity, and I am appreciative of the resilient team we have at Pinnacle. We are aware that the situation is fluid and further developments could impact facility operations due to reduced fiber availability in the event a sawmill is closed, additional costs and impacts related to logistics, and the possibility of facility shut-downs. Our management team is working diligently to mitigate these potential impacts.”