PRINCE RUPERT, BC - Pinnacle Renewable Energy Group, a manufacturer of wood pellets, plans to invest $42 million to build a terminal for exporting its products.

The Westview Terminal Redevelopment Project recently cleared a key government oversight hurdle when the Prince Rupert Port Authority accepted Pinnacle's environmental assessment. The terminal project is expected to require up to 90,000 construction hours. It will employ 24 people and have the capacity to export 2 million tons of wood pellets each year, according to PRPA.

While the RPRA said proposed project would unlikely result in a "significant adverse environmental effect,"  Pinnacle will be subject to implementing several mitigation measures relating to environmental protection including regular monitoring of air quality and noise. In the event that emissions exceed the limits set out in any of the mitigation measures, Pinnacle will be required to take immediate corrective action, and PRPA has specifically maintained the ability to require an operational shutdown if required.

"PRPA acknowledges the feedback and concerns expressed by some local residents regarding land use management in the inner harbour adjacent to CN's downtown rail yard," said Ken Veldman, director of public affairs for the Prince Rupert Port Authority. "However, we believe we can strike a balance between creating the economic opportunity a growing port represents and enhancing the livability of Prince Rupert through improvements to public access to the waterfront."

Pinnacle, a private company founded by the Swaan family of Quesnel, has been in operation for more than 20 years and is the longest established pellet producer in Western Canada. The company employs 350 workers at its six pellet manufacturing facilities in Houston, Burns Lake, Meadowbank, Quesnel, Williams Lake and Armstrong.

In addition to wood pellets used by industry and residences, Pinnacle makes animal bedding and natural sorbent used to absorb spills.

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