The closure of the Fort Drum biomass plant in New York this Spring has affected business, reported WWNY.
The facility was closed because New York state no longer recognised biomass as a source of renewable energy. At the time, the plant provided 100% of power at the facility. It now receives electricity from the power grid.
According to Kirk Kleiboer, foreman at K&E logging, the company has lost half of its bottom line, with costs doubling, parts and equipment still being the same price, and fuel going up.
“Our chippers have been sitting idle. Wood at the mills has been at full. Getting rid of the material has been awful,” he told WWNY.
John Bartow, executive director of Empire State Forest Products Association, said two dozen trucking contracts and the jobs associated with those contracts have been lost.
“We lost a dozen logging operations so those people have had to go find work elsewhere. We saw a lot of equipment get turned in and auctioned off. That’s a loss of significant jobs,” he said.
The combination of fuel costs, and the lack of need for transport, forced him to release one of his employees.
More than two dozen employees of the plant were laid off once it closed, according to WWNY.