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Wood Bioenergy Sector Continues to Shake Out; Viable Projects Down; Wood Volume Up

Wood bioenergy projects continue to either gain traction or fall to the sidelines as investors shake the sector like a sack of Scrabble tiles.  While the number of projects that pass Forisk’s screening methodology in April fell from 297 to 295, the estimated volume of wood consumed by viable projects edged up 2.4%.  As of April 29, 2012, Wood Bioenergy US reports that projected wood demand for all 452 announced projects in the U.S. totaled 123.7 million tons, while the 295 projects that passed Forisk’s screen could consume up to 72.1 million tons of wood annually by 2022.

Project specific activities include:

  • Green Circle Bioenergy announced plans to expand its plant in Cottondale, FL to produce 600,000 metric tons of pellets per year. The company hopes to complete the expansion in 2012.
  • Traxys Power Group plans to purchase the former General Motors Fiero assembly plant to convert it to a biomass power plant in Pontiac, MI. (Trivia:  Ferris Bueller’s sister, Jeanie, drives a white Pontiac Fiero in the 1986 movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”.)
  • Cate Street Capital met with the Millinocket, ME town council to discuss plans for a $35 million torrefied biomass machine at the Millinocket paper mill site.
  • Russell Biomass received a Clean Water Act permit for its proposed 50 MW cogeneration facility in Russell, MA. The project was originally a stand-alone electricity plant, but Russell Biomass changed the project to a cogeneration plant to meet Massachusetts efficiency standards. Construction is currently on hold pending the finalized RPS standards for the state.

For a complete Wood Bioenergy US summary of projects and associated wood demand statistics, click here.

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