For the first time in 230 years, Britain has completed 67 days, 22 hours and 55 minutes without burning coal to generate electricity, due in part to our renewable wood pellets.
The last time coal was burned at any of Britain's four coal-fired power stations was April 10, 2020, and began again on June 16, according to the National Grid, marking the longest period without deriving energy from the fossil fuel since 1790, the start of the Industrial Revolution.
This coincides with the one year anniversary of Grand River Pellets. These pellets displace coal and other fossil fuels in power generation and heating and have played a role in achieving this historic environmental milestone in the UK. The pellets come from wood sourced from environmental certified forests owned or managed by Irving Woodlands.
“We are focused on using 100% of every tree,” explains Jerome Pelletier, Vice President of Sawmills and Grand River Pellets. “When we produce lumber, 10% of the log becomes shavings and sawdust. We’re using this material to grow new jobs by making pellets. This is renewable energy that is helping new global markets reduce their use of fossil fuels and their environmental footprint. Good news for the UK, Europe the Port of Belledune and rural New Brunswick!”
As one of the two biggest exports from Port of Belledune, wood pellets from Grand River Pellets have also played an important role in the community and economy.
" New Brunswick companies, including J.D. Irving, Limited. play a significant role in the world’s quest for cleaner energy and reducing worldwide carbon emission output by supplying wood pellets, mainly to the UK, via the Port of Belledune," says Denis Caron President & CEO of the Belledune Port Authority. "A recent economic impact study showed that 577 jobs were related to wood pellets exports at the Port of Belledune in 2019. This number of jobs is expected to rise to approximately 630 in 2020 based on increased activity in the sector. It is important to recognize the positive environmental and economic impact New Brunswick companies have both locally and overseas by using New Brunswick’s greatest natural resource, forest products."
Since the opening of Grand River Pellets, we have 28 employees working at the plant, and 14 truck drivers hauling sawmill residues to the plant and loads of pellets to the Port of Belledune for delivery to UK and European markets.