Pacific Bioenergy to expand pellet production

February 18, 2010
Feb. 18, 2010, Vancouver – Pacific Bioenergy Corporation and GDF Suez have entered into a strategic partnership to support a $24-million expansion of Pacific Bioenergy's existing wood pellet production facilities in Prince George, British Columbia. Pacific Bioenergy and global energy producer GDF Suez have formed a new joint venture to own and operate the Prince George plant.

In addition to its minority interest in the joint venture, GDF Suez has also agreed to purchase 2.5 million tonnes of wood pellets for its electrical generating facilities in Belgium over the next 10 years, replacing approximately two million tonnes of coal and reducing net carbon dioxide emissions by over 4 million tonnes.

The expansion project, expected to be complete in the fall of 2010, will see annual wood pellet production at the Prince George plant double to 350,000 tonnes. New state-of-the-art emission control equipment will be installed, improving the air quality in and around Prince George. The expanded plant will use more mountain pine beetle killed wood and other waste wood from the forests surrounding Prince George.

“Our use of carbon-neutral wood pellets from British Columbia allows us to lower our carbon dioxide emissions at our electrical generating plants and to achieve the goals concerning renewable energy set out by the European Union,” says Dirk Beeuwsaert, executive vice-president in charge of energy Europe & International for GDF Suez. “This new partnership assures that we will receive significant quantities of carbon-neutral wood pellets during the next decade and will support our position as a world leader in large-scale biomass generation."

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