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Pinnacle Pellet in Smithers makes noise reduction progress

Company says initiatives have already received positive feedback from neighbours with more to come
No injuries after a fire at Pinnacle Pellet Plant in Smithers early Friday morning. (Marisca Bakker photo)

Jeff Johnson, general manager of the Smithers pellet plant says Pinnacle’s noise reduction efforts are paying off.

“We have had positive feedback from the residents already,” commented Johnson to Smithers town council Feb. 9.

Johnson was part of a delegation to council’s regular meeting with Scott Bax, Pinnacle COO, who gave council an update on the inititatives they have already implemented and one that will be done by the end of February.

Johnson explained that back up beepers on moving equipment had been switched to a white noise type of alarm. They had also removed Grizzly screens, as loading equipment “kept banging into the screens causing part of the noise issue.”

READ MORE: Neighbours fed up with pellet plant noise

Bax and Johnson both noted the biggest factor cutting down on noise was they have not had any chipping activities since December.

Johnson also noted contractors had created a box sound barrier around the chipper that would be in place by the end of February, further reducing noise for residents when chipping resumes.

Bax commented they will continue with their efforts in sound reduction, and hope to meet with residents to get further feedback with regard to their modifications.

At the meeting, Bax also announced Pinnacle Renewable Energy is being taken over by United Kingdom-based Drax Power, the latest sign of an international push to low-carbon energy production.

Drax has agreed to pay $385 million for Pinnacle in a bid for its shares that has been endorsed by Pinnacle’s board and its largest shareholder.

READ MORE: British firm Drax bids to buy B.C.-based pellet maker Pinnacle

Pinnacle has 11 pellet production facilities, including ones at Williams Lake, Houston, Burns Lake and Hixon B.C., forest areas that were affected by fires and a pine beetle outbreak that spread across Western Canada. With an export terminal at Prince Rupert and expansion into Alberta and the U.S., Pinnacle has become the second largest pellet producer in the world.

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