Pinnacle Pellet’s Burns Lake plant’s new $5 million wet electrostatic precipitator (WESP) will be put through its first emissions stack test at the end of this year’s second quarter, in June.
The company, which has yet to pass the Ministry of Environment’s air quality control tests, decided to make the investment for a new scrubber after repeatedly failing to overcome the operational difficulties with its old system.
The new scrubber became operational earlier this year is in its commission stage right now. It uses electrostatic electricity to trap wet particles in the piping.
Leroy Reitsma, President and Chief Operating Officer said the decision was made to cut their loses and make a change.
“We made a herculean effort to make our old system work, but at a certain point you have to cut your loses and make a change,” Reitsma said, “there were two techniques recommended under the Ministry of Environment guidelines for pellet plants, one of which was the WESP system.”
The plant expects to see positive results with the new scrubber in place, and Reitsma believes the only reason the plant won’t be compliant with its permit is if the commission stage is not completed.
“The supplier is working with us right now during the commission stage to insure we will be compliant. The only way I can see us no being compliant would be not completing the commission stage,” Reitsma said, “we expect to see results below the target of our permit.”
Pinnacle Pellet’s Burns Lake plant is the largest of the six B.C. plants, and Reitsma hopes that this investment shows the plant cares about the people in Burns Lake.
“It says clearly that when we experience an issue that affects our neighbours, that we take it seriously,” Reitsma said, “it shows that we are fully committed to operating under our permits.”