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Drax Biomass expands pellet business in US

Drax Biomass International is to plan for three projects in the Gulf region.

It expects to begin construction of two pellet manufacturing plants in Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as storage and loading facilities at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge, during the first half of 2013.

The manufacturing facilities, Amite BioEnergy in Mississippi and Morehouse BioEnergy in Louisiana, are expected to start full operations in 2014 with a combined capacity to produce 900,000 metric tonnes of biomass pellets annually using fibre from sustainably managed forests.

Economic development agencies in each state provided financial incentives to attract Drax to invest in their locations.

‘The broad government, community and industry support provided by both states reflects the collaborative and cooperative manner in which we plan to expand our business in the US,’ says Ken Budreau, senior VP of development at Drax Biomass.

The Greater Baton Rouge facility will be able to store approximately 80,000 metric tonnes of biomass pellets. It will be designed to accommodate pellet deliveries by both rail and truck and is expected to be operational in 2014.

‘This is an exciting step for us,’ adds Drax Biomass CEO, Chuck Davis. ‘With Louisiana’s and Mississippi’s support, we look forward to moving these projects through development and into construction. We are focused on building and operating clean, safe manufacturing facilities that will support local economies, create long-term jobs and interface with local forest industries.'