Traeger Pellet Grills is the new owner of a wood pellet plant in Redmond.
Traeger bought Pacific Pellet for an undisclosed sum, said Jeff Raines, one of Pacific Pellet’s co-founders. Raines, who also co-founded the former Oregon Telecom, declined to discuss Pacific Pellet’s business, other than to say it produced pellets for home heat and smoker-grills.
This is the third time in recent decades the Redmond plant on E. Antler Avenue has shifted with the wood products industry. Crown Pacific produced plywood at the plant before Pacific Pellet started in 2010.
“We actually got into it to provide fuel for a biomass gasification plant,” Raines said. Raines was part of Diesel Brewing, a Salem business that in 2009 intended to burn dairy waste to create butanol, according to The Associated Press.
Raines said he abandoned the biofuel business when he realized it would be dependent on government subsidies. But the pellet business had potential.
When Pacific Pellet opened in summer 2010, it produced Douglas fir pellets for heating and multiple-use pine pellets, which could be used for heat or animal bedding, according to The Bulletin’s archives.
The company started making pellets for grills and smokers to balance the seasonality of its business, and sales to the barbecue market grew quickly, co-owner Mark Stapleton told The Bulletin in 2013.
Nine companies had pellet plants in Oregon in 2016, according to the Oregon Department of Energy’s latest report.
Pacific Pellet produced 20,600 tons of pellets in 2017, according to the Department of Environmental Quality. That’s equivalent to 2.06 million 20-pound bags.
It’s unclear whether Traeger will meet or exceed that production volume. The company is making its pellets from maple and alder wood, according to the DEQ.
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