Wood pellet supplier expects production by September

Nadya Bell
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Manufacturing

People with freshly installed wood pellet stoves will have to wait until next season to get a supply of pellets made in Newfoundland, according to Rex Philpott, owner of Cottlesville Lumber.

The provincial government ann-ounced a rebate program for the stoves on Nov. 5, saying the Cottlesville plant would be producing pellets within weeks. The program ends in February.

Roy Crawley, manager of the Home Hardware outlet in Manuel's, Conception Bay South, is shown by eight of the Drolet (Wood) Pellet stoves on the showroom floor in the C.B.S. business Wednesday afternoon. - Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

People with freshly installed wood pellet stoves will have to wait until next season to get a supply of pellets made in Newfoundland, according to Rex Philpott, owner of Cottlesville Lumber.

The provincial government ann-ounced a rebate program for the stoves on Nov. 5, saying the Cottlesville plant would be producing pellets within weeks. The program ends in February.

Philpott says that's true, the company did do its first test run a week later, but it discovered it needed to buy an expensive dryer to get the right moisture content in the pellets.

"I don't think we'll be doing commercial pellets this winter," Philpott says. "We're getting ready for the next season."

He says the company had to buy the dryer from a company in China, and it isn't expected to arrive in Newfoundland until early March.

"We're hoping to be up and running to take care of the Newfoundland and Labrador market at least by the next heating season. We've got a line of Canadian pellet stoves built in Canada, so we'll be selling stoves, residential furnaces, residential boilers and commercial boilers," he says.

Roy Crawley, manager of Home Hardware in Manuels, has a whole line of wood pellet stoves ready for sale, but there's no bags of pellets to be had, not at his store or anywhere else on the island, he says.

Home Hardware and a number of other stores around the island ordered in wood pellet stoves after the government announced a $1,000 to $1,500 rebate to people installing the stoves or furnaces in their houses.

The energy-efficient systems are run by filling a hopper in the back with dried pressed-wood pellets.

"There was plenty of interest in the program in the beginning, but it did take a downturn when people started to realize there was no supply," Crawley says.

"If you were going to buy a new car and you knew there was going to be no gas to go in it, would you go out and buy it?" he says.

Home Hardware originally sold pellets, but the supply came from Nova Scotia.

"We have backorders on top of backorders for customers, that as soon as something becomes available now they want them. I've had customers call and say OK, I'm down to my last five bags, that's going to give me about 10 days worth of heat, after that you're back to electric heat," Crawley says.

Bruce Emberley, the owner manager of Emberley Electrical and Plumbing Supplies also sells pellet stoves.

He says it would make sense for the provincial government to extend its rebate program past February because the supply of pellets has severely prohibited people from converting their home heating.

"What the government is trying to do is get the forestry industry going on the pellet plants, and part of the way they're going to do it is by having more pellet stoves out there. But I guess they will extend it because in their budget they allowed so much money, and if the money's not gone by the end of February they could keep going," Emberley says.

nbell@thetelegram.com

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, China, Canada Manuels Nova Scotia

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • jimkottar
    October 06, 2010 - 07:06

    Wood Pellet Suppliers I came across your site when this site is very help full. ,I'm very interested in this story. Thanks for this information.

  • Ken
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    Good story .. Rex should be the guy running the Abitibi business. He is innovative, creative and hard working. He should do well. I wish him every sucess. Hopefully he will benefit from the demise of the Abitibi business in Central.

  • Paul
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    Energy (Btu) per dollar for pellets for pellet stove operation is the same as hydro, oil, propane and seasoned wood junks (purchased in St. John's for wood stoves). The suppliers have this figured out already and there is no cost savings. If you have a wood stove and cut your own wood, your energy cost (Btu/dollar) is one third to one half that of hydro/oil/propane/pellets. This takes into account the moisture content of wood (must be seasoned) and common operating efficiencies of these modern day appliances. Basically, ALL types of wood have the same energy density (Btu/lb). Some woods like hardwoods (ex birch vs. black spruce) are denser but contain more energy the amount of energy (Btu/lb) is still basically the same. Ive done a lot of research in this area.

    So, if saving money is not your goal, AND you enjoy the extra chore of tending to your appliance for refills/cleaning, while at the same time you like the idea of being completely dependent on a supplier to provide you with a skittish supply of pellets by all means, go buy a pellet stove and dont forget to plug it in (yes, they require electricity and do NOT operate when the power goes out).

    A real wood stove and cutting your own wood is more work, but you are off the grid and dependent on no one. Your energy cost for heating will be cut in half or more. It does not require electricity and a domestic cutting permit costs $21 to cut 5 cords of wood from 1 Oct to 30 April.

  • Graham
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Money spent on that Chinese dryer leaves our economy and helps the Chinese companies and employs Chinese people in China. That unit will be drop-shipped here and contribute virtually nothing to our economy. We can build these ! Buy locally ! Support your own people !

  • Mark
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    These stoves sound like a good idea, but they are expensive. And correct me if I'm wrong, but they don't seem to be able to burn anything other than pellets. What happens if this is just a fad, or the supply of pellets runs short?

    At least with a normal fireplace you can light it up with your Bachelor of Arts and the legs off the kitchen table. :)

    If there was a hybrid pellet/normal stove, perhaps I'd be sold.

  • Hank
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Why would someone buy twice ? Why would someone buy from China then buy locally ? Oh, I see, the Chinese product will undoubtedly break down and there'll be no parts available to fix it. Just like Wal-Mart items that only appear for a couple months at a time and then disappear forever after the next time their buyers go to Asia looking for the next cheapest products. No continuity. No replacements available. Choose a different product and start the 6 month cycle again. You never get the same thing twice. Good luck getting an item to match the one that failed.

    The greedy had more and then they needed ? Then they needed what ? Huh ?

    We are engulfed in trees, the least we can do is make items locally that can reduce the shipping charges applied to imported wooden products into this province. Or would local producers increase their profit margins (because they can get away with it) and Newfoundlanders not see much of a cost savings at all ? They, in effect, can then pocket the would be shipping charges.

  • DP
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Why should we support the pellet industry. We have a forest industry here on this island that is exploited by the paper mills. We have three reasons why our government should take our wood for the following:

    1) Cut the spruce into lumber for residents and sell it - instead of us having to buy irving wood from NS and NB. I am tired of seeing wood at Kents and Home depot from Mr Irving.

    2) Mandate that plastic bags be banned. Use the mills to produce paper bags that can be recycled.

    3) Sell other species of wood like birch to residents and regulate the pricing per cord. Currently residents are being gouged by the high prices of wood, especially in the St. John's area - upwards of $300 per cord. $200 for a pickup load.

    OUr government has the wrong vision. Buying a $2500 pellet stove and then having to pay $6 per bag that is not available and dependent on one factory or the mainland is not an option. A $99 chainsaw and a permit will do.

  • Burn
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    How much ya wanna bet that is was cheaper with shipping and all that to buy from China then to buy from a local company? ;-)

    Time for everyone to be paid the same wage no matter what position or profession. I would venture to say that wages placed under regulation would help in the current economic situation. Once everyone was earning the exact same wage, then costs for goods and services would decrese.

    Think about this for a second. Wage control for all, cost control for everything. Can a CEO justify pulling in more in a few hours then most make in a year? I doubt it. Look at the greedy little pigs that lost billions to Bernie. Looks good on them really. They all had more then they needed and really can not complain too much now.

    The former Grand Falls Mill could be used to produce these pellets or better still be used to recycle paper products into others that could be used in the province. Paper plates, cups, paper towels and crapper paper to name a few. Put the people back to work, create an industry and help the econmy and planet.

    You reading this Danny.

  • Ken
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    Good story .. Rex should be the guy running the Abitibi business. He is innovative, creative and hard working. He should do well. I wish him every sucess. Hopefully he will benefit from the demise of the Abitibi business in Central.

  • Paul
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    Energy (Btu) per dollar for pellets for pellet stove operation is the same as hydro, oil, propane and seasoned wood junks (purchased in St. John's for wood stoves). The suppliers have this figured out already and there is no cost savings. If you have a wood stove and cut your own wood, your energy cost (Btu/dollar) is one third to one half that of hydro/oil/propane/pellets. This takes into account the moisture content of wood (must be seasoned) and common operating efficiencies of these modern day appliances. Basically, ALL types of wood have the same energy density (Btu/lb). Some woods like hardwoods (ex birch vs. black spruce) are denser but contain more energy the amount of energy (Btu/lb) is still basically the same. Ive done a lot of research in this area.

    So, if saving money is not your goal, AND you enjoy the extra chore of tending to your appliance for refills/cleaning, while at the same time you like the idea of being completely dependent on a supplier to provide you with a skittish supply of pellets by all means, go buy a pellet stove and dont forget to plug it in (yes, they require electricity and do NOT operate when the power goes out).

    A real wood stove and cutting your own wood is more work, but you are off the grid and dependent on no one. Your energy cost for heating will be cut in half or more. It does not require electricity and a domestic cutting permit costs $21 to cut 5 cords of wood from 1 Oct to 30 April.

  • Graham
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    Money spent on that Chinese dryer leaves our economy and helps the Chinese companies and employs Chinese people in China. That unit will be drop-shipped here and contribute virtually nothing to our economy. We can build these ! Buy locally ! Support your own people !

  • Mark
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    These stoves sound like a good idea, but they are expensive. And correct me if I'm wrong, but they don't seem to be able to burn anything other than pellets. What happens if this is just a fad, or the supply of pellets runs short?

    At least with a normal fireplace you can light it up with your Bachelor of Arts and the legs off the kitchen table. :)

    If there was a hybrid pellet/normal stove, perhaps I'd be sold.

  • Hank
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    Why would someone buy twice ? Why would someone buy from China then buy locally ? Oh, I see, the Chinese product will undoubtedly break down and there'll be no parts available to fix it. Just like Wal-Mart items that only appear for a couple months at a time and then disappear forever after the next time their buyers go to Asia looking for the next cheapest products. No continuity. No replacements available. Choose a different product and start the 6 month cycle again. You never get the same thing twice. Good luck getting an item to match the one that failed.

    The greedy had more and then they needed ? Then they needed what ? Huh ?

    We are engulfed in trees, the least we can do is make items locally that can reduce the shipping charges applied to imported wooden products into this province. Or would local producers increase their profit margins (because they can get away with it) and Newfoundlanders not see much of a cost savings at all ? They, in effect, can then pocket the would be shipping charges.

  • DP
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    Why should we support the pellet industry. We have a forest industry here on this island that is exploited by the paper mills. We have three reasons why our government should take our wood for the following:

    1) Cut the spruce into lumber for residents and sell it - instead of us having to buy irving wood from NS and NB. I am tired of seeing wood at Kents and Home depot from Mr Irving.

    2) Mandate that plastic bags be banned. Use the mills to produce paper bags that can be recycled.

    3) Sell other species of wood like birch to residents and regulate the pricing per cord. Currently residents are being gouged by the high prices of wood, especially in the St. John's area - upwards of $300 per cord. $200 for a pickup load.

    OUr government has the wrong vision. Buying a $2500 pellet stove and then having to pay $6 per bag that is not available and dependent on one factory or the mainland is not an option. A $99 chainsaw and a permit will do.

  • Burn
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    How much ya wanna bet that is was cheaper with shipping and all that to buy from China then to buy from a local company? ;-)

    Time for everyone to be paid the same wage no matter what position or profession. I would venture to say that wages placed under regulation would help in the current economic situation. Once everyone was earning the exact same wage, then costs for goods and services would decrese.

    Think about this for a second. Wage control for all, cost control for everything. Can a CEO justify pulling in more in a few hours then most make in a year? I doubt it. Look at the greedy little pigs that lost billions to Bernie. Looks good on them really. They all had more then they needed and really can not complain too much now.

    The former Grand Falls Mill could be used to produce these pellets or better still be used to recycle paper products into others that could be used in the province. Paper plates, cups, paper towels and crapper paper to name a few. Put the people back to work, create an industry and help the econmy and planet.

    You reading this Danny.