Plantation Energy to re-open Australia’s ‘largest’ wood pellet plant

Plantation Energy is to re-open a wood pellet processing plant, which has been closed for the last five years, in Albany, Australia.

It is set to be recommissioned due to a low Australian dollar and increased international demand, according to media reports in ABC News.

Plantation Energy secured AUS$7 million (€4.96m) of funding from multinational energy company ENGIE to recommission the plant in Albany, on the south coast of Western Australia, according to the media channel.

The three-year venture to secure funding was aided by advisory company Argonaut, which had been working with Plantation Energy owner Renewable Heat and Power (RHP).

The plant will have the capability to produce 250,000 tonnes of wood pellets a year, making it the largest plant of its type in Australia.

It will go into full production following a six-month trial period expected to begin in July.

Wood pellets are used in coal-fired power stations as a renewable energy replacement, with major markets in Europe and Japan.

The process of producing wood pellets involves making an energy-dense wood pellet from sawmill residue and woodchips milled to less than 5mm in size.

Plantation Energy's wood pellet plant was decommissioned in 2012 due to a lack of market demand, a high Australian dollar and issues with supply, making it difficult for the company to stay profitable.

Argonaut and RHP director Peter Balsarini said he was confident the business would be successful this time.

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