Viridis begins exporting pellets to Italy

By Lisa Gibson | September 15, 2011

Continuing its expansion, British Columbia-based Viridis Energy LLC has added a second European wood pellet customer to its portfolio, announcing at the same time that it will have a third in the coming weeks.

Viridis has begun shipping pellets to Italy through an off-take agreement arranged through its strategic alliance with sustainable energy solutions provider Abellon Clean Energy Ltd. The alliance will also begin shipping to a customer in Switzerland within the month. “Our strategic alliance with Abellon is quickly developing into a dynamic conduit to significant opportunities in Europe,” said Christopher Robertson, Viridis’ CEO. “Since both companies share the objective of creating a leading bioenergy source, our efforts were immediately aligned. As a result, our relationship has already started to deliver results.”

Viridis commenced its collaboration with Abellon earlier this year to identify and secure supply agreements for Viridis’ existing production at its 60,000-metric-ton (66,000 tons) pellet plant, Okanagan Pellet Co. in Kelowna, British Columbia. The collaboration has also allowed a strategic investment in Viridis by Abellon, acquisition of another pellet mill in Monte Lake, British Columbia, and the development of a new facility.

“As a result of our shipments into Europe, our current operations are trending towards full capacity and witnessing, therefore nicely improving gross margins,” Robertson said. “Going forward, we intend to strategically expand our production capacity to address the worldwide demand for wood pellets and other biomass products, and we are currently reviewing several contract opportunities that satisfy our near-term investment criteria and long-term growth objectives.”

Viridis and Abellon are poised to help supply pellet demand in Europe, which is forecast to see a 44 percent increase between 2010 and 2020, according to a RISI report.