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News Release - December 19, 2019Pinnacle Renewable Energy Announces Planned Construction of New Industrial Wood Pellet Facility in the U.S. Southeast

/- NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION IN THE UNITED STATES -/

New Facility to Add 360,000 MTPA in Wood Pellet Production Volume

VANCOUVER, Dec. 19, 2019 /CNW/ - Pinnacle Renewable Energy ("Pinnacle" or the "Company") (TSX: PL) today announced the planned construction of a new industrial wood pellet production facility in the southeast United States in close proximity to Pinnacle's Aliceville, Alabama facility (the "Aliceville Facility"). The new facility (the "Demopolis Facility") will be located adjacent to an existing large sawmill in Demopolis, Alabama. The Demopolis Facility is expected to have annual production volume of 360,000 metric tonnes per annum ("MTPA") that will be sold through Pinnacle's contracted backlog of long-term, take-or-pay off-take contracts.  Commissioning the Demopolis Facility with initial industrial wood pellet production is expected in the second quarter of 2021.

The Demopolis Facility will operate under a single partnership with Pinnacle, The Westervelt Company ("TWC"), a diversified land resources company, and Two Rivers Lumber Company, LLC ("TRL"), a McElroy Enterprises company, holding a 70%, 20% and 10% interest, respectively. TWC will sell a 10% interest of its currently held 30% interest in the Aliceville Facility to TRL. Under the terms of the partnership, Pinnacle will operate the Demopolis Facility and manage all aspects of customer relations, marketing, sales, and logistics. Anticipated capital costs to construct the Demopolis Facility is expected to be approximately US$99 million, and Pinnacle will fund its portion of the capital costs from draws on its existing credit facilities. Pinnacle expects the capital cost to be toward the upper end of its capital cost to run-rate EBITDA ratio target range.

The Demopolis Facility, to be located on the same river system as the Aliceville Facility, will be constructed to ensure finished pellets can be barged and loaded at the port in Mobile, Alabama, which is the same port used for pellets produced at the Aliceville Facility. The Demopolis Facility is currently in the final stages of design and construction planning and permit applications have commenced. Long-term fibre supply agreements have been completed with the majority of suppliers, including TWC and TRL.

"Building on our early success at the Aliceville Facility, which is currently producing wood pellets ahead of the commissioning curve, we are pleased to be expanding our presence in the U.S. southeast and leveraging the existing relationships and infrastructure we have established in the area," said Rob McCurdy, CEO of Pinnacle. "The U.S. southeast expansion further aligns the Company with our partners and fibre suppliers and allows for flexibility to optimize fibre flow between the facilities, while further diversifying our business in the region, which will see approximately 660,000 MTPA of pellet production once fully commissioned."

Brian Luoma, President and CEO of The Westervelt Company says "Since we began working with Pinnacle last year at the Aliceville mill, we have built a strong partnership based on our shared commitment to safety, quality, environmental responsibility and our communities. This new venture with Pinnacle and Two Rivers allows Westervelt to participate in a growing market while capturing the advantages of the abundant resources in this area. Whether it's industry experience, supply chain advantages or land management expertise, this partnership will benefit from the strengths of each of the companies involved."

Jay McElroy, President of TRL said "We are excited to partner with Pinnacle and Westervelt in the expansion of their U.S. southeast wood pellet production. Both organizations have great reputations and success stories. This partnership accomplishes our goal to further expand our investment into wood products and build upon our businesses in the region."

About Pinnacle
Pinnacle is a rapidly growing industrial wood pellet manufacturer and distributor and the third largest producer in the world. The Company produces sustainable fuel for renewable electricity generation in the form of industrial wood pellets. This fuel is used by large-scale thermal power generators as a greener alternative to produce reliable baseload renewable power. Pinnacle is a trusted supplier to its customers, who require reliable, high-quality fuel supply to maximize utilization of their facilities. Pinnacle takes pride in its industry leading safety practices. The Company operates eight industrial wood pellet production facilities in western Canada and one in Alabama, with an additional facility under construction in Alberta. Additionally, Pinnacle owns a port terminal in Prince Rupert, B.C.  Pinnacle has entered into long-term take-or-pay contracts with utilities in the U.K., Europe and Asia that represent 108% of its production capacity through 2026.

Forward-Looking Information
This news release may contain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities laws in Canada. Forward-looking information may relate to Pinnacle's future financial outlook and anticipated events or results and may include information regarding its financial position, business strategy, growth strategies, budgets, operations, financial results, taxes, dividend policy, plans and objectives. Particularly, information regarding the Company's expectations of future results, performance, achievements, prospects or opportunities or the markets in which it operates is forward-looking information. In some cases, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "targets", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "an opportunity exists", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "outlook", "forecasts", "projection", "prospects", "strategy", "intends", "anticipates", "does not anticipate", "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might", "will", "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". In addition, any statements that refer to expectations, intentions, projections or other characterizations of future events or circumstances contain forward-looking information. Statements containing forward-looking information are not historical facts but instead represent management's expectations, estimates and projections regarding future events or circumstances. If any of the opinions, estimates or assumptions underlying the forward-looking information prove incorrect, actual results or future events might vary materially from those expressed in the forward-looking information. The Company has no obligation or undertaking to update or revise any forward-looking information whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable securities laws in Canada. Actual results and the timing of events may differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking information as a result of various factors, including those described in "Risk Factors" which are described in the Company's most recent Annual Information Form ("AIF") filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com).

We caution that the list of risk factors and uncertainties is not exhaustive and other factors could also adversely affect our results. Readers are urged to consider the risks, uncertainties and assumptions carefully in evaluating the forward-looking information and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such information. See "Forward-looking Information" and "Risk Factors" in the Company's most recent AIF and its Management's Discussion & Analysis for Q3 2019 available on SEDAR for a discussion of the uncertainties, risks and assumptions associated with these statements.

SOURCE Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc.

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