Pacific BioEnergy

Unlocking the Value of Mountain Pine Beetle-killed Wood

BC is currently experiencing one of the largest mountain pine beetle (MPB) invasions in North America – an infestation that has already covered an estimated 16.3 million hectares of forest and killed approximately 675 m³ of timber.

The fallout is serious, for the forest industry, its reliant communities – and for the environment.

As trees die, they release the carbon dioxide consumed and stored during growth. Consequently, the dead trees standing in BC’s forests have become a huge carbon source instead of a carbon sink. In fact, it has been estimated that they are currently releasing more carbon dioxide than Alberta’s oil sands.

Additionally, the timber’s merchantable value for the sawmilling industry is rapidly declining as the trees die. This has spurred the BC government to take action, both through its “Forests for Tomorrow” program and by actively encouraging businesses to develop innovative alternative uses for MPB-killed wood.

At Pacific BioEnergy, we are unlocking the value of this emerging resource by harvesting both the dead timber, and the logging debris from MPB stands, for conversion to wood pellet fuel.

These sources currently comprise approximately 40% to 50% of our feed stock material, and enable us to contribute toward two positive outcomes.

First, the reduction of CO2 emissions, by transforming a potentially idle resource into a clean energy fuel.

And second, the acceleration of BC’s forest regeneration, as new trees are planted to replace those removed. This helps ensure the long-term viability of BC’s forest industry - and its position as a global leader in sustainable forest management.