Prairie Clean Energy to begin purchasing flax straw this fall
August 8, 2023 By Prairie Clean Energy
Saskatchewan-based business, Prairie Clean Energy (PCE), is excited to announce they will start buying flax straw from Canadian producers on the prairies this fall as the company starts its first foray into scaling up production of its flax pellets.
PCE will be purchasing flax straw within a 75-kilometre radius around both Regina and Gilbert Plains, MB, where the company has leased time at a facility for the initial production of the company’s proprietary flax pellets. PCE will be buying anywhere from 6,000 to 54,000 tonnes of flax straw, the range being wide as the company works on production projections and growth plans into 2024.
“We’re thrilled to say we’re now producing pellets and moving from being a Saskatchewan start-up success story into a revenue-producing Saskatchewan success story,” said Mark Cooper, PCE’s CEO and president, adding, “We knew the time was right to start buying straw now as all our hard work, relationship building, and research over the past few years has led to this market opportunity.”
The company requests that interested producers go to PCE’s website for more information versus calling the company, citing wanting to handle demand in a way that works both for producers and PCE’s team.
Cooper goes on to say that the company has signed several agreements with companies in Japan and the UK for their patent-pending pellets for biomass fuel, but that the current export opportunity comes a little closer to home and in a new area. “Our first pellets are being exported into the lucrative U.S. horse bedding market, with our initial sales happening in the U.S. midwest,” Cooper stated. “Through our research, we discovered that flax pellets make excellent animal bedding because they are low dust, highly absorbent, compostable, and low ammonia producing…they are a superior animal bedding product for horses, cows, and small animals,” said Cooper. “Adding another product line to our company was a natural next step knowing the incredible benefits and versatility of our flax pellets,” he explained.
The straw purchased from around Regina is to secure the initial fibre needed for anticipated early production in 2024 at the facility the company has leased and dedicated primarily to producing flax pellets for customers needing sustainable biomass fuel feedstock. The straw purchased from 75 kilometres around Gilbert Plains will be used for the production of PCE’s Flax Premium Bedding pellets.
“We are and will always be a bio-energy company,” Cooper stated, “but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity our versatile flax pellets presented for revenue and providing a needed solution in another area,” said Cooper.
This announcement comes after several other exciting announcements from PCE. Recently, PCE received a $1.1 million dollar grant from the Mining Innovation Commercialization Accelerator (MICA) Network for its GHG emissions reduction project utilizing prairie biomass to generate energy and support the potash industry in lowering greenhouse gas emissions. PCE also announced they received a $180,000 grant in the spring from Innovation Saskatchewan to continue its research and readiness work on flax pellet production in preparation for the 2024 opening of its Regina facility.
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