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Pellet plant resumes operations

A wood pellet plant near Waycross, Georgia, US resumed operations on 13 July 2011, after an explosion forced the facility to close.

'We're ramping up now... starting the equipment and getting it all ready to go,' says Ken Ciarletta, plant manager at Georgia Biomass.

The $175 million (€124 million) Georgia Biomass wood pellet plant has been shut since 20 June 2011, when parts of its processing equipment were damaged in a dust explosion.

Following an investigation, the incident was attributed to a roller/bearing assembly in a pelletiser which had overheated.

Although the cost of the damage was not divulged, 'the capital damage was comparatively low and has been repaired,' according to Ciarletta.

The pellet plant started production on 12 May this year, with a goal to manufacture 750,000 tonnes a year of yellow pine timber-based wood pellets.