Scott Arsenault, left, and Garth Wright unload wood pellets at Callbeck’s Home Hardware. Suppliers across the province have had a hard time maintaining supplies of the fuel for their customers. Two long cold winters in a row have been blamed for the shortage.
©Mike Carson/Journal Pioneer
SUMMERSIDE — Homeowners heating with wood pellets may see some relief from the shortage of the fuel source across Atlantic Canada.
Wood pellets have been at a premium over the last two years because of back-to-back severe winters.
Local retailers had to place a limit on the number of bags anyone can purchase in order to be able to provide some pellet supplies to as many customers as possible.
One of Atlantic Canada's main producers of wood pellets is struggling to increase supply to help meet the demand.
"We expect that the strong demand for wood pellets we have seen in Atlantic Canada to continue for several more weeks," said Maureen Reid, corporate secretary for the Nova Scotia-based Shaw Group Limited in a statement on Tuesday.
Eastern Embers, a member of the Shaw Group, is working around the clock attempting to meet the demand.
"Eastern Embers continues to produce pellets 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-per-week," said Reid.
"More than 95 per cent of this year's pellet production from our Nova Scotia plant has remained in the Atlantic Region. No product from our Eastern Embers facility has been shipped overseas.”
The company’s focus is to get as many residential wood pellets into retail locations with the widest distribution.
“Eastern Embers is working aggressively to meet pellet demand through our existing residential wood pellet production facility in Nova Scotia,” added Reid.
“To date we have maximized production at our production facility, worked with our suppliers to source additional raw material fibre, and co-ordinated with our distribution partners with an aim to achieve even distribution of the product we provide.”
The company has expedited the creation and launch of a new brand of pellets - Flame Wood Pellets.
Flame Wood Pellets brand wood pellets have recently been made available to several retailers in Atlantic Canada.
As production ramps up, Flame Wood Pellets will be made available to more distribution channels.