Vessel loading facility situated at the port

By way of a 15-year contract with Quebec Stevedoring, the Los Angeles-based company intends to move pellets through a dedicated storage and vessel loading facility situated at the port. The terminal boasts 80,000 tonnes of capacity for wood pellets.

Speaking at the CanBio Conference in Thunder Bay in early September, Steve Robert, Rentech’s managing director in Canada, emphasized shipping is a vital component of the emerging biomass industry.

“(This) is the only dedicated port terminal in Eastern Canada that can really move pellets in really any significant proportion, and it’s a $25-million project in itself.”

Roberts said even though the new terminal comes with a hefty price tag, in the long run it will help keep costs under control.

“(To get) the economies of scale that are required for an industrial pellet, you have to have dedicated ship loading.”

The pellets moving through the terminal will originate at Rentech’s plant near Wawa, a converted Weyerhaeuser OSB (oriented strandboard) mill. It’s currently under construction and slated to be operational by the end of the year.

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