Saskatchewan company wants to buy flax straw as fuel

Prairie Clean Energy (PCE) is a Saskatchewan company that has found a way to take the thousands of tonnes of Saskatchewan flax straw that gets burned or trashed on the prairies every year and turn it into something that can provide income to producers and sustainable growth for rural Saskatchewan. PCE is processing and selling flax straw for biomass fuel to Canadian and global customers.

 “There is a world shortage of wood fibre used to make biomass fuel and almost 670,000 tonnes of flax straw gets burned or trashed on the prairies every year. Flax straw actually burns at higher BTUs per pound than wood fibre, making it a natural alternative to wood, and most importantly, something Saskatchewan flax farmers can make money from,” said CEO Mark Cooper.

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To connect directly with flax producers and answer questions, PCE is holding townhalls, including on Tuesday, July 28, in Weyburn at McKenna Hall, 2-3:30 p.m.

There will also be town halls on Wednesday, July 29, in Yorkton, and on Thursday, July 30, in Regina, both at 2-3:30 p.m. A meeting was held on Monday in Humboldt.

Because of COVID-19 social distancing, PCE asks producers to pre-register at prairiecleanenergy.com so organizers can keep the gatherings to under 30 people.

“Our plan is to buy baled flax straw by the tonne from producers and if they can’t bale it, we’ll come out and bale it for them,” said Trevor Thomas, founder of the company.

“This is where future jobs in rural Saskatchewan can come in. We want this global issue to be a Saskatchewan success,” added Thomas.

PCE is signing contracts with Saskatchewan flax producers right now to buy their flax straw from them, process it and provide it to customers in Canada and around the world as biomass fuel.