IN THE SPOTLIGHT JULY 10: An example of a green energy company

I had the pleasure of visiting Princeton Co-Generation along with Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen director Brad Hope.

Earlier on in April, I had the pleasure of visiting Princeton Co-Generation along with Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen director Brad Hope.

I would like to thank Glenn Smith and others at the plant for making this interesting and informative visit possible.

Princeton Co-Generation, which was founded in 1994, owns and operates a 100,000 ton wood pellet mill and is the fourth largest employer in the town. It produces a much sought after carbon neutral green energy product.

The pellet mill supports 35 full-time equivalent jobs (many at entry level) at the pellet plant and supports a further 70 full-time equivalent jobs, which transport feed stock – saw dust and shavings from B.C. interior saw mills to the pellet plant and deliver finished goods – fuel pellets and animal bedding products throughout Canada, the West Coast of the U.S., and to the Vancouver port for export to Europe and Asia.

The pellet mill contributes in excess of $8 million per year to the local economy.

The pellet plant exports roughly 60 per cent of its product, the majority of which is being utilized in Europe to offset emissions from coal fired power plants.  South Korea is also emerging as a key market for 2013 and beyond.

The current owners purchased the pellet plant in 2006 for a consideration of $5 million.  They have subsequently invested a further $4.5 million in plant upgrades to increase the pellet plant capacity from 60,000 to 100,000 tons per year, despite significant economic challenges for the pellet industry during the last three years, recent and partial closure of B.C. interior saw mills and the loss of export pricing advantage against the U.S. dollar.

B.C. provincial policies supporting climate change policy, renewable energy and good use of forestry assets, remain the key attraction for the ownership group, which would like to continue and expand operations at Princeton if possible.

There were, however, a number of economic challenges which arose in 2012, namely significant unplanned mandated expenditure on pellet plant upgrades and electrical equipment, as a consequence of provincial saw mill incidents. Despite these economic challenges, the owners of Princeton Co-Generation remain very proactive and have managed to meet the additional unplanned expenditures.

It is my hope that both the federal and provincial governments will be able to assist Princeton Co-Generation to continue its existing operation and potentially grow to meet an ever growing demand for its green energy products.

Princeton Co-Generation has been a trusted and pro-active business and employer in the area for 18 years and is at the forefront of addressing a wide variety of community issues, climate change, and environmental issues, and continues to support and make financial contributions to local groups with strong community ties.

– Alex Atamanenko MP for the B.C. Southern Interior

Just Posted

Rescued snowmobilers ill-prepared for emergency, Castlegar RCMP say

Two men rescued Wednesday night were not ready for overnight in back country

B.C. Interior free from measles

Vancouver measles outbreak hasn’t spread to the B.C. Interior

Boundary Showcase, Take a Seat exhibits call for submissions

The upcoming spring exhibits call for community involvement.

Celebrating Family Day at Wilgress Lake fishing derby

The annual event was attended by over 125 people.

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

B.C. Speaker Darryl Plecas resumes battle with suspended staff

Committee meets at B.C. legislature to consider new allegations

Broken axle north BC derailment could happen again: TSB

CN coal train derailment caused by a broken axle can happen again without a different way to inspect

Former B.C. fire chief sues his city after termination

Keith Green’s civil claim says that he believes he was wrongfully terminated

B.C. man in wheelchair following police shooting

“Shots were fired by police and the Kelowna man was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.”

Risk of ‘deadly avalanches’ leads to warning for B.C.’s south coast

Weak layer of snow on Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland could trigger an avalanche

Peter Tork, Monkees’ lovable bass-guitar player, dies at 77

Tork, Micky Dolenz, David Jones and Michael Nesmith formed the made-for-television rock band

From a drunk judge to Clifford Olson: George Garrett recounts a life in B.C. news radio

New book from ‘Intrepid Reporter’ George Garrett offers readers a glimpse behind the headlines

Wife remembers B.C. man killed in possible case of mistaken identity

Rex Gill was in Kamloops working to support his family after oilfield job dried up

Most Read