Schedule


Monday Sept. 19

WPAC Opening Reception

Join us between 6:30 and 8:30pm for a few drinks and snacks as we welcome everyone back to a live, in-person event!

WPAC Golf Tournament – details and registration coming soon!
9:00am - 3:30pm

Workshop: ENplus® Training for Quality Managers 

ENplus® is the world-leading certification program for wood pellet quality with over 1200 certified companies and is essential for organizations who wish to market their product to the European pellet heating markets.  The Wood Pellet Association of Canada is the national licenser for ENplus®.

WPAC is organizing a training course for Quality Managers on September 19, 2022, the day before WPAC’s annual conference.  The workshop will be led by Dr. Fahimeh Yazdan Panah of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada and Julie Griffiths with Shaw Renewables.

The training is intended for quality managers employed by ENplus® certified companies and will also be of interest to companies who are interested in becoming certified so they can export to the European heating markets.

All ENplus® Quality Managers are required to take an annual training program.  This will be the only live Canadian ENplus® training workshop in 2022 and will cover issues related to requirements for the entities participating in the entire supply chain, from the receipt of raw material, through the production of ENplus® pellets to the delivery to the end-user.

Registration Fee:  $150 CAD - covers room rental, coffee, lunch, and transportation to and from UBC.
9:00am - 9:30am

Registration and coffee

9:30am - 10:45am

Basics of wood pellet quality management, competing quality certification programs.

10:45am - 10:55am

Coffee break

10:55am - 11:30am

Role of quality managers, conformity assessments

11:30am - 12:00pm

Experience as a certified producer

12:00pm - 12:30pm

Lunch

12:30pm - 1:00pm

Travel to UBC

1:00pm - 3:00pm

Tour UBC wood pellet laboratory, view testing equipment, tour biomass heating plant.

7:30 am to 8:30 am

Breakfast and registration

8:30 am to 8:50 am

Unlocking the World of Pellets

Speakers:
  • Gordon Murray, Executive Director, Wood Pellet Association of Canada
  • Vaughan Bassett, President, Wood Pellet Association of Canada
  • A representative from Natural Resources Canada, Government of Canada
The wood pellet sector sits at the cusp of realizing its truest potential. Join us for this kick off session as we set the stage for two days of challenging and stimulating discussion about the future of pellets.
8:50 am to 10:15 am

The Gateway to New Possibilities

Moderator: Gordon Murray, Executive Director, Wood Pellet Association of Canada

Speaker: Dr. Jamie Stephen, Managing Director, TorchLight Bioresources
Panellists:
  • Vaughan Bassett, Drax
  • Gregg Koehler, Premium Pellet Ltd
  • Gustavo Oliveira, Ministry of Forests Innovation, Bioeconomy and Indigenous Opportunities Branch
The opportunities for wood pellets are endless. Policy makers, regulators and politicians are only just beginning to understand the potential of pellets in the bioeconomy, reducing energy poverty and new uses for bioenergy. Join us for this thought-provoking session as we explore the art of the possible and turn to industry leaders and government officials for their perspectives on what the future holds for our sector.

Topics covered include:
  • Video: Power of Pellets: Building Strong Communities Together
  • Wood Pellets as a Foundation of a Low Carbon Economy
  • Advancing British Columbia's bioeconomy
  • Panel: Industry and Government: Responding to the Challenge.
10:15 am to 10:45 am

Coffee Break

10:45 am to 12:05 pm

Stronger Communities and Local Economic Development

Moderator: Gregg Koehler, Sales Manager, Sinclar Group/Premium Pellet Ltd.

Speakers:
  • Roger Keery, President, Skeena Sawmills Ltd.
  • Diane Collins, Kitsumkalum Economic Development Group
  • Jonathan Levesque, Biomass Solutions Biomasse
  • Paula Cook, Senior Energy Engineer, Public Works, Government of Nova Scotia
Once thought to be just a solution to beehive burners; communities are now looking at pellets as a local economic driver: creating jobs, supporting community resiliency and providing new alternatives for clean energy. Join community heroes who are making their communities stronger by investing in the wood pellet sector.

Topics covered include:
  • Video - Power of Pellets: Building Strong Communities Together
  • Skeena Bioenergy and Kitsumkalum Economic Development Group: Working together in Northwest British Columbia
  • Bioheat Strategy for Atlantic Canada
  • Eliminating furnace oil to reduce GHG emissions from Nova Scotia government buildings
 
12:05 pm to 1:30 pm

Lunch

Lunch in exhibition area
1:30 pm to 2:40 pm

Setting the Record Straight

Moderator: Diane Nicholls, Vice-President, Sustainability, Drax

Speakers:
  • Karen Brandt, Senior Consultant, Brandt Strategy Inc.
  • Steve Kozuki, Executive Director, Forest Enhancement Society of BC
WPAC members believe there is no jurisdiction on earth better positioned and more committed than Canada to advancing new renewable energy alternatives and driving the bioeconomy. It's time to set the record straight on misinformation and highlight WPAC's commitment to improve forest health, ensuring the best use of the forest and forest products, all the while reducing environmental impacts.

Topics covered include:
  • Video: Power of Pellets: Responsible Sourcing
  • What do we stand for?
  • The art of the possible
  • Advancing wildfire resiliency and low-value fibre utilization in British Columbia
2:40 pm to 3:10 pm

Coffee Break

Networking in exhibition area
3:10 pm to 4:50 pm

Biomass and Climate Change Mitigation

Moderator: Jamie Stephen, Managing Director, TorchLight Bioresources Speakers:
  • Gary Bull, Professor Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia
  • William Strauss, President, FutureMetrics
  • Fahimeh Yazdan Panah, Director of Research and Technical Development, Wood Pellet Association of Canada
  • A representative from Drax
Join us for a lively discussion as we discuss the role of biomass in climate change mitigation. These world-leading experts will highlight the opportunities for our sector while challenging us to address both the science, the communications gaps and the investment needed to take pellets to the next level.

Topics include:
  • Video: Power of Pellets: Contributing to a Low-Carbon Economy
  • Sustainable forest management contributions to climate change mitigation
  • Carbon sequestration in managed forests and dispelling the myth of carbon debt
  • On the path to becoming a negative emissions company: BECCS at Drax
  • Potential for biofuels and wind assist to reduce ocean shipping emissions
  • Moderated panel discussion
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Wood Pellet Barbecue and Sponsor Reception

John Swaan, the grandfather of wood pellets and FutureMetrics pellet expert, will be cooking his world-famous pellet-smoked ribs.
7:30 am to 8:30 am

Breakfast and networking

8:30 am to 9:50 am

Making our Industry Safer

Moderator: Scott Bax, Chair, Wood Pellet Association Canada Safety Committee Speakers:
  • Bill Laturnus, Senior Safety Advisor, BC Forest Safety Council
  • Jeff Mycroft, Regional Sales Manager, Fike Canada
  • Kayleigh Rayner-Brown, Principal, Obex Risk
  • Mike Tasker, Occupational Safety Officer, WorkSafeBC
In 2021, WPAC members released their sustainability commitment. Chief among the 10 goals, is the recognition that nothing is possible without the people who power our sector. That's why we place the highest priority on the employee health and safety and continue to invest in new ways to deliver on our safety commitment. Join us fora exploration of the world-leading initiatives our sector has committed to and the learnings along the way.

Topics include:
  • Video: The Power of Pellets: Wood Pellet Safety in Canada
  • WPAC’s commitment to safety
  • Safe operation of belt dryers
  • Advancing process safety management in wood pellet production
  • Steps toward a safer wood pellet industry
10:00 am to 10:30 am

Coffee Break

Networking in exhibition area
10:30 am to 11:40 am

Keynote Presentation: Getting Comfortable with the Spotlight

Moderator:
  • Vaughan Bassett, President, Wood Pellet Association of Canada
  • Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun Political Columnist
Our members find themselves at interesting time – a small player in the forest sector that turns wood “waste” into bioenergy, providing an outlet for the sawmill sector, reducing slash burning, displacing fossil fuels, and helping customers around the world meet climate targets. What’s not to love? Despite this, we find ourselves suddenly at the centre of environmental campaigns, social licence discussions, and evolving forest policy decisions.

We've invited respected journalist Vaughn Palmer for his perspectives. Vaughn’s hard-hitting columns have seen him cover the feats and follies of B.C.’s premiers for almost 40 years. An award-winning journalist, Palmer is the Vancouver Sun’s provincial political columnist, based in Victoria. Palmer is a regular commentator on radio station CKNW in Vancouver. Palmer is the recipient of the Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jack Webster foundation, a co-winner of the Jack Webster award for reporting, and a recipient of the Hyman Solomon award for excellence in public policy journalism from the Canadian Public Policy Forum. Since 1984, Palmer has examined an extensive range of issues, personalities and scandals that have come to define B.C.’s political scene.
11:40 am

Wrap-up and Adjournment

Gordon Murray, WPAC: Summary and Wrap-up

Conference adjourns
Note: Agenda is subject to change

Speakers

Bill Laturnus


Mr. Bill Laturnus is a Senior Safety Advisor, Manufacturing at the British Columbia Forest Safety Council (BCFSC). Bill has extensive experience in sawmill operations, and as a proponent of Process Safety Management (PSM), supports the incorporation of practical applications of PSM at wood pellet worksites. Bill has recently conducted key safety activities focusing on risk reduction of hazards in wood pellet operations (WPAC). Bill also has 13 years of experience auditing Safety Management Systems (SMS) in forest products manufacturing.

 

Dr. Fahimeh Yazdan Panah
Director of Research and Technical Development, Wood Pellet Association of Canada


Dr. Fahimeh Yazdan Panah is the director of research and technical development at the Wood Pellet Association of Canada and a Research Associate at the University of British Columbia. She has been engaged in research and discovery in the emerging area of bioenergy for over 15 years and have managed bioenergy projects for a variety of clients including governments, manufacturers and technology developers. She has led biofuel densification, pretreatment, storage and handling research studies for 10 years and has co-authored more than 80 technical reports and peer-reviewed publications in the field. Fahimeh also serves as the Project Lead within ISO Technical Committee 238 (Solid Biofuels) and served as the Chair within ISO Technical Committee 300 (Solid Recovered Biofuels) for two years. She received her PhD and MASc from Chemical and Biological Engineering Department at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and she holds a bachelor’s degree from Amirkabir University of Technology. She is also a registered Professional Engineer with EGBC and Professional Project Manager with PMI.

Dr. Jamie Stephen
Managing Director of TorchLight Bioresources


Dr. Jamie Stephen is the Managing Director of TorchLight Bioresources, a decarbonization strategy and policy advisor for national, provincial, and municipal governments, First Nations, utilities, airlines, large industrial emitters, property developers, and investment funds. Projects range from the development of energy facilities to national strategies on meeting Net Zero targets. He has two decades of experience in the bioenergy industry, working at the interface of the energy, forestry, agriculture, and waste sectors. Dr. Stephen holds a PhD in Forest and Energy Economics and a Masters in Chemical and Biological Engineering from the University of British Columbia. After growing up in the prairies and spending over a decade in eastern Ontario, he now resides with his wife and three daughters in Nova Scotia.

Gordon Murray
Executive Director, Wood Pellet Association of Canada


Having been on the ground in sawmill and woodlands operations, as well as the corporate finance aspect of the industry – working in mergers, acquisitions, and project financing, Gordon Murray joined the Wood Pellet Association of Canada in 2009. Today, he works as an ardent advocate on behalf of Canadian producers, traders, ports, terminals, shipping companies, equipment suppliers and all those who want to participate in growing a safe and prosperous wood pellet industry. Gordon Murray has a bachelor of science in forestry. He is a registered professional forester and a chartered professional accountant.

Jeff Mycroft


Jeff Mycroft B.Sc, is a leading expert in explosion protection and the Ontario Regional Sales Manager for Fike Canada.  Fike are world leaders in explosion protection, as well as overpressure protection.  Jeff has been with Fike Canada for over 20 years and is a frequent speaker at industry events, governmental bodies, inspection agencies all across Canada. He has an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry, and has received various professional certifications and designations.  Jeff is experienced in the design and application of

Explosion Protection Systems, as well as navigating the relevant governing documents, codes, and standards.

 

Karen Brandt


Karen Brandt is a communications professional who has a passion for sustainability and for the past 30 years she has held a number of senior positions in the public and private sectors where she has built common positions and partnerships with First Nations, environmental groups, customers and governments. She holds an honours Bachelor of Journalism (minor Political Science) from Carleton University in Ottawa.

Kayleigh Rayner Brown, P.Eng., MASc.
Process Safety Specialist and Director, Obex Risk


Kayleigh has more than 12 years of professional experience working across a range of industries, including wood processing, aerospace, oil and gas, and nuclear. She holds a Master of Applied Science from Dalhousie University in chemical engineering, specializing in process safety and risk management. After graduating, Kayleigh has worked in risk management in a range of sectors, including wood products manufacturing and healthcare.

Kayleigh has provided technical guidance for a range of health and safety, environmental protection, and continuous improvement programs. Kayleigh leverages this diverse experience to provide holistic risk management support across organizations of all sizes. Kayleigh is specialized in process safety and hazard analysis and helps organizations protect their operations and personnel, enhance productivity, and improve health and safety metrics.

Kayleigh is a registered Professional Engineer (NS, BC) and holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical), as well as a Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Chemistry).

Roger Keery


Roger Keery joined Skeena Sawmills in 2014 as VP Operations and moved to the President’s role in Nov 2018.   He is also the President of Skeena Bioenergy, a standalone company incorporated to operate the wood pellet plant built by Skeena in 2019.    Born and raised in an entrepreneurial  sawmilling and logging family in British Columbia, he has over 40 years of forest industry experience.   This includes working around the province in various areas of the industry with a strong focus on Northern B.C.  Starting work as a Mechanical Designer for Ainsworth Lumber in 100 Mile House and them moving to B.C. Forest Products Mackenzie Division for 15 years.   He has also managed remanufacturing plants, engineered wood plants, a sawmill equipment design and manufacturing business, specialty sawmills as well as consulting for Forest companies in Canada and New Zealand.    A UBC graduate in Mechanical Engineering, he is a registered Professional Engineer and has held positions on several industry committees.

Away from work at Skeena he enjoys golf, building furniture, painting and taking long trekking holidays with his wife.

Scott Bax


For more than 25 years, Scott has worked across the forest products industry in diverse leadership roles in mill operations, residual based renewable energy production (wood pellets), and major capital projects execution and commissioning.

As the Chief Executive Officer for Peak Renewables, Scott is responsible for the people, culture, and operational execution of all aspects of Peak’s business. Scott is passionate about Team, believes in leading with empathy and fostering a strong performance management culture that is based on candor, respect, and accountability.

Prior to joining Peak, Scott served as the Chief Operating Officer at Pinnacle Renewable Energy. During his tenure, Scott’s leadership led Pinnacle’s growth from a 800,000 MT of annual production wood pellet producer to becoming the world’s second largest wood pellet producer with production capacity of 2.8 MM MT/yr with annual revenue exceeding $400MM.  A champion of safety driven culture and enthusiastic leader, Scott was deeply involved the planning, construction, marketing, and commissioning of 5 green field pellet facilities across North America.

Scott holds an MBA from the University of Alberta, a Master of Forestry from the University of Alberta and a B.Sc. (Env) from the University of Guelph.  Scott sits on the Board of BC Forest Safety Council and the Executive Health and Safety Council of BC. Scott is also the CEO of One Sky Forest Products and the VP Fibre for Hydrogen Naturally.

Vaughan Bassett
Senior vice-president of Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc.


Vaughan Bassett is a senior vice-president of Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. based in Vancouver, B.C., where he is responsible for the commercial, logistics and sustainability activities of the company.

Vaughan is a director for the Wood Pellet Association of Canada and is currently serving as president. He is also a director for the London-based Sustainable Biomass Program Ltd (SBP). Vaughan is past chairman of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters association, BC Division. Vaughan has an extensive career in international business, particularly in the forest products industry.

Previously, he spent almost 20 years with Sappi, a global pulp and paper company. As their executive in charge of their world-wide pulp sales, he was stationed in Hong Kong for 10 years before moving to Canada in 2007. He joined Pinnacle in 2011. Vaughan earned his BSc. from the University of Natal and his MBA from the University of the Witwatersrand, both located in South Africa.

Vaughn Palmer


Vaughn Palmer’s hard-hitting columns have seen him cover the feats and follies of B.C.’s premiers for almost 40 years. An award-winning journalist, Palmer is the Vancouver Sun’s provincial political columnist, based in Victoria. Palmer is a regular commentator on radio station CKNW in Vancouver.

Palmer is the recipient of the Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jack Webster foundation, a co-winner of the Jack Webster award for reporting, and a recipient of the Hyman Solomon award for excellence in public policy journalism from the Canadian Public Policy Forum. Since 1984, Palmer has examined an extensive range of issues, personalities and scandals that have come to define B.C.’s political scene.

William Strauss
President and founder of FutureMetrics, LLC.


William Strauss is the president and founder of FutureMetrics, LLC. Bill and his FutureMetrics team are globally recognized as the leading experts in the wood pellet sector. Bill continues to be a thought leader in the sector and has published numerous papers on a variety of subjects relevant to the wood pellet sector. He is also a founder and director of Maine Energy Systems, the largest manufacturer of European style automatic pellet fuelled central heating systems in North America. Bill is the 2012 recipient of the International Excellence in Bioenergy award and was named as one of the most influential leaders in the biomass sector in 2016 and 2017 by Argus Media. Bill has more than 40 years of strategic and policy planning, project management, data analysis, operations, and modeling experience in the renewable energy sector. He has an MBA (specializing in Finance) and a Ph.D. (Economics, Earth Systems Science).

Venue

Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel

 

Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel
Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel welcomes you to British Columbia with style, substance and award-winning hospitality. You’ll find this venue in Coal Harbour, in the very heart of the city center; Rogers Arena, Stanley Park and the cruise ship terminal are moments away, as is the Vancouver Convention Centre.


Accommodations

Hotel WPAC group rates are now available! Be sure to secure your hotel room at the conference hotel by making your room reservation online at https://book.passkey.com/e/50275017

Group rate only available until August 22, 2022!

Book now to secure your room at a significantly discounted rate and guarantee you’ll have a spot to stay at the conference hotel.

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