Japan and B.C. Partner on Bioenergy
Pacific BioEnergy has been a leader in the British Columbia wood pellet industry since 1994. Their vision was simple and strategic: take residual fibre from sawmills or harvest unusable trees, such as those killed by the mountain pine beetle, and turn them into carbon neutral, renewable fuel to replace coal and fossil fuels. They did just that and became a key player in the biomass energy sector in B.C. and the second largest manufacturer of wood pellets in Canada. For a growing sector that exported $319 million in wood pellets worldwide in 2016, Pacific BioEnergy’s recent investment deal with one of Japan’s largest trading houses Sumitomo Corporation was a vote of confidence in Pacific BioEnergy’s vision to continue to build this sector in B.C.
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With six business units and regional organizations all over the world, Sumitomo Corporation conducts business activities in a wide range of industries on a global scale. This includes business in the mineral resources and energy sectors. Sumitomo worked with Pacific BioEnergy, based in Prince George, to import wood pellets to Japanese customers. Through this partnership, Sumitomo became interested in exploring investment opportunities for a manufacturing facility and acquired a 47.6% share in Pacific BioEnergy.
Trade and Invest British Columbia representatives in Tokyo and Vancouver played an important role in this investment agreement, providing market intelligence, indicators on the B.C. forestry sector and facilitating meetings for investment discussions. Sumitomo’s investment will help Pacific BioEnergy continue to grow while providing employment and economic development benefits for B.C.’s Central and Northern Interior regions. And for Sumitomo Corporation, who owns several power-generation plants in Japan, this investment enables them to further strengthen marketing efforts to third parties.
Trade and Invest British Columbia supports B.C.’s key sectors through helping international companies invest in British Columbia. Manufacturing is a significant economic driver for the Province, generating $16 billion for B.C.’s economy and supporting approximately 170,000 jobs. Manufactured goods account for 58% of B.C.’s total goods exports to international destinations. Forestry accounts for 35% of all goods exported from B.C. and, in 2016, the value of B.C. forest product exports was $14 billion.
Find out how Trade and Invest British Columbia can help your business succeed by contacting one of our International Trade and Investment Representatives. We have representatives in the United States, China, Europe, India, Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia and Vancouver. Or, stay up to speed on recent developments in B.C.’s priority sectors by connecting with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.