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October 27, 2017 10:36 pm

Pinnacle Pellet to Suspend Operations at Kersley

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 @ 3:18 PM

Prince George, B.C.- Pinnacle Pellet has announced  it will immediately curtail  operations at its plant in Kersley, south of Quesnel,  for 9  to 10 months.

Nineteen hourly employees are impacted by the decision, “We are making a real effort to  try and move that talent  on to some of our other locations, especially in the Cariboo region” says Pinnacle’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Leroy Reitsma “There’s also some work that  will be involved in the day to day protecting of the assets   during  this period of downtime.  We’re hoping to have   the number of  people  effected by lay off  down to  below ten by the time we get through this process.”

Reitsma says the decision  is based on a  lack of  fibre supply “I think as people  in the region are well aware, there has been quite a significant  change in the presence  of sawmilling assets in the community, and as a result, the residual balance has changed considerably so the mill we own there, that  was designed to process a specific group of  residuals, mostly shavings,   that volume is not available today.  So we are having  to look at longer term fibre supply and try to modify  the mill to suit them.”

The 9 months will be used to  define a fibre plan,  and  what  changes will be needed at the plant  to accommodate  that  supply. He says the   fibre source will  be ” More towards the non merchantable portion of the forest  itself, be it  logs that  do not meet   the grade necessary to produce  lumber or  other building products,  or for that matter,  fire kill  volumes that might be integrated into our supply plan.”

The Kersley facility is the  oldest of the Pinnacle assets.  “It was based upon a very specific and readily available   source of dry  fibre in Quesnel,  but with the mountain pine beetle, we’ve seen quite a shift in that” says Reitsma.

Pinnacle has had   a recent string of fires at four of it’s facilities in the Province.   There was an incident at the Lavington site  at the end of March,  then  two fire incidents at the Houston operation  in mid May, and a fire at the Kersley plant  May 15th.   All of the incidents  remain under investigation.

Reitsma says the decision on the Kersley operation is not related to those incidents  “We’ve been contemplating this decision  for quite some time, recognizing the change in the fibre basket. I think our  commitment to safety and the safety of our employees  does factor into this decision, as youlook at  a facility and you look at what it’s supposed to process  different types of equipment are needed for each different type of material  and I think  some of this process is really  trying to align those things.”

He says the Ministry of Forests  has been “very eager to  work with us  on something that’s going to suit  if there is an ability to create  that long term stability, then  we can invest with confidence  in the  equipment that’s required to process that fibre.”

He says if everything  falls into line,  Pinnacle hopes to have the plant up and running again by the end of the 2nd quarter of 2017.



Its too bad that more investment isn’t coming to light in mobile chipping operations. There are many logging blocks where the logging waste is still being burned or left to degrade instead of being turned into a supply for these pellet operations.

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