Los Angeles, California, USA 28 October 2014 -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Rentech, Inc. (RTK) announced today that start-up of the Atikokan wood pellet facility has begun. During the next few weeks, the plant will undergo safety inspections, equipment testing and final commissioning.
Sean Ebnet, senior vice president of Rentech's wood fibre business, said, "I'm pleased to reach this important milestone at the Atikokan facility. Our Canadian team has done a superb job managing the construction of Rentech's first two pellet plants, through one of the worst winters on record. We are excited about beginning operations and bringing jobs back to these communities. The staff we have assembled at both facilities has deep experience operating large fibre mills, and includes the key members of the teams that ran the Atikokan and Wawa mills when they operated as fiberboard and oriented strand board facilities."
The company expects the Atikokan facility to produce pellets in the coming weeks. The existing arrangement of delivering third-party pellets to Ontario Power Generation (OPG) will be curtailed as the Atikokan facility ramps up production. The total design capacity of the Atikokan wood pellet facility is 100,000 tonnes. Under the terms of the long-term contract, OPG will purchase 45,000 tonnes of pellets annually from the Atikokan facility at the plant gate. The remaining output will be available for sale to OPG or other customers.
Delays in equipment deliveries by certain vendors have prolonged construction and start-up of the Canadian pellet plants. Commissioning and start-up of the Wawa facility are expected to begin in November and continue through the end of the year, with production to follow. The first shipment of pellets to Drax is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2015, in coordination with Drax's ship schedule. All major equipment is in place at Wawa, and certain critical items, including the drying system, bark furnace and both log cranes, have already been commissioned and are operational. Other than the equipment delivery delays, construction of both projects has proceeded as planned.
About Rentech, Inc.
Rentech, Inc. (RTK) owns and operates wood fibre processing, wood pellet production and nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing businesses. Rentech offers a full range of integrated wood fibre services for commercial and industrial customers around the world, including wood chipping services, operations, marketing, trading and vessel loading, through its subsidiary, Fulghum Fibres. The Company's New England Wood Pellet subsidiary is a leading producer of bagged wood pellets for the U.S. heating market. Rentech manufactures and sells nitrogen fertilizer through its publicly-traded subsidiary, Rentech Nitrogen Partners, L.P. (RNF). Please visit www.rentechinc.com and www.rentechnitrogen.com for more information.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 about matters such as the expected construction, commissioning, start-up, production and delivery times for pellets from our Canadian wood pellet projects. These statements are based on management's current expectations and actual results may differ materially as a result of various risks and uncertainties. Other factors that could cause actual results to differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements are set forth in the Company's prior press releases and periodic public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available via Rentech's website at www.rentechinc.com. The forward-looking statements in this press release are made as of the date of this press release and Rentech does not undertake to revise or update these forward-looking statements, except to the extent that it is required to do so under applicable law.