Zilkha Biomass Energy plans wood pellet plant

US-based Zilkha Biomass Energy, a biomass solutions provider, is building a $90 million (€67 million) facility in Monticello, Arkansas, to manufacture its Zilkha Black Pellets.

'Power companies across the globe are looking for renewable energy alternatives and biomass wood pellets stand as one of the most practical and cost-effective solutions,' says Jack Holmes, CEO of Zilkha Biomass Energy. 'This plant in Monticello will be one of our largest and will help us capture more of the growing biomass energy market. Our black pellets have a set of beneficial qualities, such as water-resistance, that make it a more attractive option than traditional wood pellets.'

Zilkha says its black pellets can be easily integrated into coal-fired plants, helping to create cleaner emissions and allowing plants to more easily comply with clean air regulations. The pellets are water resistant, which allows them to be transported and stored outside like coal.

Woody biomass is abundant and is considered to be one of the best available sources of biomass on Earth. Forests cover more than 18.8 million acres in Arkansas – more than half of the state – making the state an ideal location for biomass production.

Nita McDaniel, executive director of the Monticello Economic Development Commission, says: 'The manufacturing of Zilkha black pellets is a natural fit for the community alongside the University of Arkansas at Monticello's School of Forest Resources. Our heritage is rich in the timber industry and this continues to move us forward with sustainable wood-based products.'

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