Zilkha Biomass Fuels is to convert a shuttered facility in Selma, Alabama into a 275,000 tonne black pellet production plant after it closed $18.8 million (€14 million) in financing.
The closing was announced by AMCREF Community Capital and combines federal and state New Markets Tax Credit financing. Susan Seagren of AMCREF says: 'Flexible, low-cost NMTC financing will allow Zilkha to offset the higher cost of capital associated with alternative finding sources, helping make the project more viable.'
In a statement AMCREF describes the new production facility, which was formerly the Dixie Pellets plant, as 'the world's first full-scale Zilkha black pellet plant'. Zilkha acquired the factory in 2010 after Dixie Pellets ceased operations there.
Work on the retrofit is underway, with operations set to begin in 2014. When the plant comes online it will generate renewable electricity for 50,000 homes per year.