F.E. Wood & Sons proposes 300,000-ton/year wood pellet mill near Portland, Maine, expects to export output to Europe under contract, helped by its proximity to one of only two ports in U.S. Northeast suitable for exporting, says bank official

LOS ANGELES , October 19, 2011 () – A wood pellet plant proposed for a site near Portland, Maine, has the benefit of being near one of only two ports in the U.S. Northeast suitable for exporting, said an official from the bank financing the project, reported Biomass Magazine on Oct. 18.

Both of those ports are in Maine, said David Perlman, managing director for Fieldstone Private Capital Group Inc., which is the project’s investment banking firm.

Maine forest products company F.E. Wood & Sons, which is behind the project, will ship the wood pellets from the plant via rail to one of those ports that is 28 miles away, said Perlman in a presentation at the Northeast Biomass Conference & Trade Show in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Oct. 11-13.

The plant is expected to export its entire wood pellets’ output, which will be 300,000 tons per year, to Europe under contract, Biomass Magazine reported.

The project’s announcement at the conference, which was sponsored by Biomass Magazine, stirred up a lot of excitement, especially as it followed a somewhat bleak assessment of the Northeast’s export potential.

Except for the two Maine ports, the Northeast lacks the proper port infrastructure needed for exporting, said Pete Stewart, president and CEO of Forest2Market.

Ports need 36-foot draft and bulk-handling capabilities, which are difficult and expensive to build, Stewart said, reported Biomass Magazine.

This will keep the export potential for wood pellets in the Northeast to northern Maine, agreed Perlman, Stewart and fellow speaker Seth Ginther, executive director of the U.S. Industrial Pellet Association.

The option of possibly transporting the wood pellets via barges on inland rivers to southern ports was discounted by all three as being too open to mishaps and major challenges, Biomass Magazine reported.

The primary source of this article is Biomass Magazine, Grand Forks, North Dakota, on Oct. 18, 2011.

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.