Lavington pellet plant makes changes to prevent another fire

The Pinnacle Pellet Plant in Lavington.
Image Credit: Pinnacle Renewable Energy Group

LAVINGTON - Actions have been taken to prevent a fire at Lavington’s new pellet plant from repeating itself.

More than a month after fire broke out in the dryer room of Pinnacle Renewable Energies’ pellet plant, company president Leroy Reitsma says their investigation into the cause of the incident is almost complete.

“With the help of third party experts and the manufacturer, we were able to identify an issue with the system’s start-up procedure that, in certain situations, could result in the generation of sparks and the type of fire event we experienced,” Reitsma says in a written statement sent to iNFOnews.ca. 

The fire started in the dryer room, which is used to dry out wood chips before they are compressed into pellets. The plant was in a maintenance shut down when the fire broke out and no one was injured. The fire was put out by the Coldstream and Lavington Fire Departments.

Since the fire, Reitsma says actions have been taken to mitigate the risk of another fire starting.

“These procedures have since been modified and a series of additional protection measures have been put in place to both protect against events of this nature occurring and/or propagating within the dryer system,” Reitsma says.

WorkSafe B.C. visited the plant shortly after the fire but did not write any orders.

The pellet plant has been heavily criticized by a group of Lavington residents who feel the operation is putting the community at risk. Fire and the risk of explosions are among their concerns.


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