Canadian Biomass Magazine

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Bioenergy show coming to Prince George


February 22, 2016
By Staff Report
Delegates at the first International Bioenergy Conference and Exhibition in Prince George in 2004. Way back in 2004 when the International Bioenergy Conference and Exhibition

February 22, 2016 - Way back in 2004 when the International Bioenergy Conference and Exhibition was first launched, a mere 105 delegates and a dozen exhibitors ventured onto the campus of the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George. to talk about this relatively new industry.

At the time, the bioenergy sector in Canada amounted to little more than a few cogeneration facilities bolted onto pulp and paper mills and a handful of pellet plants scattered around B.C.

But there was potential. Growing interest from the research community, government and industry. And fibre. Lots of it. Not only was Prince George at the centre of what was being referred to as the “Saudia Arabia of biomass,” but there was a government-imposed timeline to shut down all beehive burners, those convenient furnaces that got rid of all the wood waste from sawmilling operations. They were literally giving away fibre at the time.

Fast forward 12 years. Fibre is at a premium, and is fetching solid prices. Some of the largest pellet manufacturers in the world are located in B.C. Bioenergy is making way for bioproducts and the concept of the new biorefinery.

So what can you expect to find at the 7th International event, June 15-17 in Prince George, B.C.?

Content has always been king, so the conference organizers are busy putting together another top-flight lineup of speakers.

That includes one of the foremost thought leaders on energy and climate change: Jeff Rubin, former chief economist with CIBC World Markets. Author of three books on energy, the economy, and now climate change, Rubin doesn’t always get it right. But he gets it right more than he gets it wrong.

Rubin will be joined by one of the bioenergy industry’s global thought leaders, Dr. William (Bill) Strauss, of FutureMetrics among other endeavours. Michael Weedon of the BC Bioenergy Network, Bob Cleaves from the U.S. Biomass Power Association and Gordon Murray, head of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada, will be joined by other association heads on an opening Executive Panel. Key biomass regions will be represented, including Doug Hooper of the Alberta Bioenergy Producers Group and Adam Sherman of the Vermont Biomass Energy Resource Centre. John May from Stern Brothers and Jeff Passmore will kick off the finance and investment panel.

A number of enhancements have been added to the event. A pre-conference tour will take visiting delegates through the province from Vancouver to Prince George for a tour of bioenergy and forestry facilities. The popular International Partnerships Forum and business-to-business meetings will take place the day before the main conference again. And this year two technical workshops will round out the value-added components of the event: WPAC will be putting on a pellet safety workshop, and the National Research Council will host a half day technical workshop.

This year also marks the second time an industry leader will be awarded the Founders’ Award in Bioenergy Excellence. Nominations are open, so consider nominating one of your colleagues.

For more information on the 7th International Bioenergy Conference and Exhibition, go to:
www.bioenergyconference.org.

 


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