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Prairie Clean Energy Dives into Flax Straw Market

By Jean-Paul MacDonald

Prairie Clean Energy (PCE) has a vision that turning underused flax straw from the Canadian prairies into sustainable pellets for diverse uses. This company from Saskatchewan said they will start buying this straw soon to begin making their special pellets.

The company is looking for flax straw in two main areas; Regina and Gilbert Plains, MB, within a 75-km radius of each location. Based on the firm's growth and production outlook for 2024, PCE anticipates buying between 6,000 and 54,000 tonnes of this valuable straw.

The straw from Regina will help PCE gear up for 2024 production of biomass fuel feedstock pellets. On the other hand, straw from the vicinity of Gilbert Plains is destined for creating PCE’s Flax Premium Bedding pellets.

PCE's CEO, Mark Cooper, shares the company’s excitement as it transitions from a startup to a revenue-generating venture. A testament to years of dedicated research and relationship-building, this move is poised to open new market avenues. Producers interested in partnering with PCE are directed to the company's website, ensuring an efficient process for both parties.

PCE has made deals with companies in Japan and the UK to sell their special fuel pellets. Their first big sale is planned for the US, especially in the midwest, where they'll sell them for horse bedding. Studies suggest these flax pellets are great for animal bedding because they're clean, absorb well, and are eco-friendly.

While PCE remains committed to its bio-energy ethos, Cooper acknowledges the added revenue potential and problem-solving capability the flax pellets offer in other sectors.

Recently, PCE received a $1.1 million boost from the Mining Innovation Commercialization Accelerator (MICA) Network. This money will help their projects that use prairie plants to lower pollution. They also received $180,000 from Innovation Saskatchewan to study more about making flax pellets.

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