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Wood Bioenergy Project Updates

October 17, 2013
Author: LeAndra Spicer
Wood Pellets

Gulf Coast Renewable Energy (GCRE) recently acquired Bayou Wood Pellets in West Monroe, Louisiana. A manufacturer of wood pellets used for residential and commercial heating, Bayou Wood Pellets has a reported capacity nearing 60,000 tons per year. GCRE plans to increase capacity to approximately 132,000 tons per year for sale and export to utilities outside the United States.

Earlier this year, GCRE announced plans to build two wood pellet plants in Southern Mississippi. Each facility, one at the George County industrial park in Lucedale and one in Copiah County, will produce approximately 353,000 tons of wood pellets per year.

Meanwhile, the George County Board of Supervisors has received an $857,000 grant from the US Department of Commerce. The money will go towards infrastructure improvements to support the construction of the wood pellet plants. In addition to GCRE, Green Circle Bio Energy is building a $115 million wood pellet plant with a planned capacity of 500,000 tons per year in the George County industrial park.

BlueFire Renewables has announced plans to integrate a wood pellet plant to its wood-to-ethanol facility in Fulton, Mississippi. The redesigned facility comes in response to financing challenges that have kept the company from going ahead with facility construction. Upon completion, the new facility will produce 400,000 tons of wood pellets and nine million gallons of ethanol per year.


Valero Energy Corp has withdrawn a $50 million investment in Mascoma Corporation’s planned 20 million gallon biofuels plant in Kinross, Michigan. The commercial scale plant would use hardwood feedstock. The $232 million project has reportedly received $120 million in public funding but is now on hold until all funding is secured.


Owner-operatorNorthern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) and developer NOVI Energy announced the NOVEC Energy Production Halifax County Biomass (NEPHCB) plant began generating electricity during testing in September. Once fully operational, the plant will burn wood six days per week for 12-16 hours per day to generate up to 49.9 megawatts of renewable electricity for NOVEC customers. Located in the Halifax County Industrial Park in South Boston, Virginia, the plant’s grand opening is scheduled for November 16.

Nippon Paper Industries’ biomass cogeneration plant at Port Angeles, Washington is expected to come online this month. The 20 megawatt plant will supply electricity to the mill and the grid as well as steam to support the paper manufacturing process.


The North Carolina State Ports Authority Board of Directors and the Council of State have approved an agreement between the ports and WoodFuels, LLC to construct a wood pellet export facility at the Port of Morehead City.  The deal calls for WoodFuels to finance and build a $25 million export facility at the port to receive, store and export wood pellets to Europe.

The facility could begin receiving pellets as early as the end of next year. Revenue is expected to fall between $1.2 million and $2 million after the first year of operation. The Port of Morehead City could receive an average of $840,000 in annual operating revenue as a result of the deal.

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