Explosion shuts down plant

On the evening of Oct. 09, a small explosion at the Pinnacle Pellet plant in Burns Lake shut down the plant for at least a week.

Damage to a surge bin seems to be extensive.  The Pinnacle Pellet Plant had been running without any significant glitches until last week.  Plant owners are assessing how damage of this magnitude was possible.

Damage to a surge bin seems to be extensive. The Pinnacle Pellet Plant had been running without any significant glitches until last week. Plant owners are assessing how damage of this magnitude was possible.

On the evening of Oct. 09, a small explosion at the Pinnacle Pellet plant in Burns Lake shut down the plant for at least a week. “No one was hurt,” said Leroy Reitsma, Pinnacle chief operating officer.

“We’re going through an investigation process to understand why the process did not behave exactly as we would like to see.”

The explosion occurred within the transport system that moves dried wood during the pellet making process. Reitsma wouldn’t say wether it was a combustion explosion or the result of built-up pressure.

“In one of the transport systems for the material that is made into pellets, there was an explosion event that should have been directed out of the process.  The result being damage to a surge bin at the end of the transport system,” said Reitsma.

As of press time the plant is not yet operational, but Reitsma expected the mill to be running again by early this week.