Catch up with PFI in this issue of the Pellet Wire!

April 12, 2019 

In This Week's Pellet Wire:

Executive Director's Notes - Win a Pellet Grill

Nine weeks from today we will be wrapping up the 2019 Pellet Fuels Institute Annual Conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania. I’m finding that hard to fathom, but there it is. For the remainder of the month the organization will throw itself headlong into preparing not only for the show, but also the summer board meeting, membership meeting board elections and board transitions that all occur on or during the conference. There’s a lot to accomplish between now and then. With this in mind I’d like to appeal to everyone reading this for their help. Sometime between now and the end of April I’d like to ask each of you to consider and act on your participation strategy for the conference. If you intend to join us simply as an attendee, I’d ask that you take the opportunity to register for the conference and book your hotel room at the Hershey Lodge now. As a motivator, our friend’s and longtime PFI member and supporter Danson’s have graciously allowed me to give away a LG-900 pellet grill.


Interested? To be eligible, you'll need to do just 2 things:

  • Register for the conference by midnight (Pacific) on Tuesday, April 30th.
  • Book your hotel room at the Hershey Lodge.

That's it. Everyone who satisfies both of those by April 30th gets their name in the hat.

I have the LG-900. It’s a terrific grill with a market value greater than a single conference registration. If you are planning on attending the conference this year, I don’t see how or why you’d wait beyond April 30th to get registered. Establishing a strong foundation of registrations and satisfying room block commitments at conference properties is huge for conference organizers and trade groups. Every registration matters and I thank you in advance for your help.

Still not feeling the urgency?

If for some reason the chance at winning a pellet grill isn’t enough to motivate you, I’d ask you to consider the industry tour with limited seating* we’re offering on Friday, June 7th to PFI-member Hearth and Home Technologies’ Halifax production facility. We knew this tour would be popular and I think there is a high likelihood that the tour will sell out. The tour is worth your time. I toured the facility in September and was blown away. The plant is an impressive production facility in its own right, but for professionals operating in the wood pellet sector I think this tour is a vital experience to add to your list of industry experiences.

OK, Tim. You’ve got my attention, but I’d like to do more than just attend.

That’s the spirit. We’d love to have you exhibit and sponsor our event. If you haven’t yet acted on your plans to do so, now is the time. Please do not hesitate to call (206) 209-5277 or email me “tim at” if you’d like to discuss your plans. I’ll be working all next week to connect with our past exhibitors and sponsors to ensure that they don’t miss the opportunity to participate in this year’s event.

This just in.

While authoring this week’s Pellet Wire, I received an email from a member alerting me to a news alert that came their way regarding a power plant in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that had been granted a permit to burn “wood pellets.” I was intrigued enough to give it a few moments of my immediate attention.

The story I was forwarded ran in the online version of Electric Light & Power and carried the headline “Michigan approves permit for power plant to burn wood pellets.” A quick read of the story makes it clear that permitted fuel pellets that will be burned in the L'Anse Warden Electric plant will be made from paper, cardboard and plastic. That’s a far cry from wood pellets. The headline makes it clear that the person who wrote the story sees “wood pellets” as some sort of generic stand-in for fuel pellets of all types. The problem of course is that these pellets are very different than “wood pellets”. Using our Twitter handle as a means to draw attention to this, I generated the following thread to clarify. I’ll also be asking the editorial team at Electric Light & Power to tighten up that headline. It’s just not accurate.

A different media outlet got it right, which we appreciated:

Industry Tour Filling Up Quickly – Register Now

Hearth and Home Technologies – Halifax
*additional registration required

The Hearth and Home Technologies – Halifax facility is a marvel of modern home heating appliance manufacturing. Serving as the primary manufacturing location for Hearth and Home Technologies pellet appliances, this tour will offer attendees a close look at how an industry leader leverages principles of lean manufacturing in a state-of-the-art facility to build consumer products of the highest quality. The Halifax production facility boasts 110,000 square feet of manufacturing space, employs more than 230 people and is responsible for the production of Harman, Heat & Glo, Pel pro, Quadrafire, Vermont Castings and other gas, pellet and wood burning appliance brands.

—Tim Portz
Executive Director

Photo of the Week

We're building a collection of photos of our members, their pellets mills and products.
Send them to Carrie Annand at 
[email protected]. This week’s featured photo shows Tim Portz along with John Utter of Lignetics at last year’s PFI Annual Conference.

Follow PFI on Twitter, Friend Us on Facebook, and Connect with Us on LinkedIn 

We'd like to connect and interact with PFI members and anyone else involved in pellet fuels production! 

Here's how you can help us build our online community:

  1. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook!
  2. Encourage your colleagues and other business associates to follow us.
  3. Send Carrie Annand via email at [email protected] news or other ideas to post on LinkedIn.

Have News to Share on Pellet Wire?

We'd love to feature your company's news in a future Pellet Wire! We want to be the first to know your company's recent developments to share them with the wider pellet fuels industry.

Please be in touch with Carrie Annand via email at [email protected] with information on your company's growth, job openings, promotions, or other news. 

Join a PFI Committee

We welcome and encourage all interested PFI members to get involved in our committees. There are many opportunities to help steer the association. No matter where your expertise and interests lie, we have a committee that will suit you. Help us plan our next conference, shape our policy agenda, lead communications outreach, or grow the PFI Standards Program. Visit PFI's website for more information. 

Upcoming Industry Events

June 57, 2019: 2019 PFI Annual Conference 

Connect with PFI
Join PFI

Fuel Availability

Are you a PFI member, pellet manufacturer, or distributor that has fuel available? Email [email protected] to have your listing updated or added to the PFI website.

Thanks for Your Continued Support of PFI! 

Not a member yet? Learn more about how PFI can work for you and join today! If you think you are getting this message in error, please contact the PFI Office at [email protected].

Industry News

Former Feed Mill in Manchester to be Converted to Wood Pellet Factory (Hartford Courant): 

A former livestock feed mill is to be converted to a wood pellet factory, and a nearby 19th century building that once housed an opera house is to be renovated and divided into apartments by the same new owner.

To help return the blighted “farmers co-op” complex to productive use, the board of directors has forgiven delinquent taxes on the Apel Place property so that Milford-based development company MSL Group Inc., can start with a clean slate, General Manager Scott Shanley said Wednesday

Company owner Michael Licamele said he hopes to have the new wood pellet business operating in about a year at 46 Apel Place. Licamele also is acquiring the adjacent brick building at Oakland Street and Apel Place, with plans to begin a conversion to apartments in July after obtaining permits and approvals. ...

Read Full Article

The Value of Experience (Biomass Magazine):  

John Swaan is the kind of guy a wood pellet operation wants on its team. With decades of experience in forest management, fiber logistics and pellet production, Swaan is armed with knowledge that can’t be acquired by reading any manual or textbook.

Having founded wood pellet manufacturer Pacific BioEnergy Corp. 30 years ago, Swaan has witnessed the success and demise of many operations. Perhaps a bit of consolation for those failed projects is that almost always, valuable knowledge has been gained. “Fairly complex lessons have been learned in the wood pellet industry in the past 30 years, and they are still being learned,” Swaan says. “This has provided us with guidance. The devil is really in the details, and the details really matter.” ...

Read Full Article

Traeger Technology Makes Grilling a Snap (Seattle Times):  

Read Full Article


Pellet Fuels Institute

[email protected] | (206) 209-5277 |