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North Carolina report on biomass could boost biofuels industry

The Biofuels Centre of North Carolina (BCNC) has completed its state-wide woody biomass assessment as a foundation for large biofuels production.

BCNC coordinated with forestry consultants Gelbert, Fullbright and Randolph, plus the seven state economic development regions, in 2011 to undertake the completed three-part analysis of North Carolina’s wood resources.

The report states North Carolina has approximately 17.6 million forested acres, more than half its land mass, of which 90% is privately owned. It believes, particularly with abundant wood markets and diminished manufacturing productivity, especially in North Carolina’s rural counties, the state has opportunities to harness its renewable, natural resources and develop sustainable economies.

For each of the state’s seven economic development regions, and in partnership with them, the State-wide Woody Biomass Project report details the three-part analysis, which:

1) Quantifies wood resources in every county of the state to include price points for both softwoods and hardwoods, past and projected land use changes and regional competition for the wood;

2) Determines the best location for biofuels industrial sites based on the phase one quantifications, and assesses the infrastructure for their appropriateness for biofuels production;

3) Refines further the wood resources to support bankable data for each location, appropriate for project financing that quantifies the sustainable annual feedstock available for biofuels production.

‘North Carolina’s wood resources are key to our successfully gaining large biofuels capacity,” says BCNC CEO Steven Burke. ‘This study quantifies and makes real our ability to support wood-to-fuels technology companies, and gives us large competitive advantage to bring them here over many years.’