Wood pellet maker Rentech goes bankrupt: Chapleau contractor buying Atikokan pellet mill.


A Chapleau forestry contractor is buying a northwestern Ontario industrial pellet mill that is feeding the Atikokan Generating Station.

A numbered company (2607043 Ontario Inc.), affiliated with True North Timber, signed an asset purchase agreement on Dec. 11 to buy an Atikokan-area pellet mill which was put up for sale by debt-ridden Rentech last fall.

It appears California-based Rentech's biomass odyssey in Northern Ontario has come to an end.

With $65.3 million in secured debt, the pellet and wood chip producer has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. to sell off its North American assets and wind down the company.

The company operated wood pellet mills near Atikokan and Wawa.

Also on the block are Rentech's U.S. subsidiaries, Fulghum Fibres and New England Wood Pellet.

The Wawa mill was idled last February due to chronic mechanical problems and the cost associated with fix them.

Rentech has applied to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for the appointment of a receiver and manager to sell or liquidate the mill. A company news release said that this shouldn't impact Atikokan operations.

Also on Rentech's case is the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund, which is demanding repayment of a conditional grant to the tune of $2.5 million.

Rentech has situated the Wawa facility as...

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