Louisiana's forest industry expects 'good, steady source of income' from US$450M biofuels plant proposed by Sundrop Fuels, says expert; RoyOMartin CEO 'excited' by plan

LOS ANGELES , January 6, 2012 () – Forestry and wood products companies in Louisiana say Sundrop Fuels' plans to build a US$450 million biofuels plant in the Alexandria area will boost the sector in the state, according to a report by thetowntalk.com.

Sundrop CEO Wayne Simmons expects the plant to use 300,000-400,000 tons of woody biomass per year, adding that his company has held talks with several tree plantation owners in the state.

The Longmont, Colorado company announced plans in November for a plant converting woody biomass and natural gas into transportation fuel.

Donald Baker, a forestry consultant who runs Baker Land and Timber Management said the plant would provide a good, steady source of income for the forestry sector.

Roy Martin, president and CEO of RoyOMartin, said his company was excited about the plan, as developing revenue from waste would help timberland owners in the state.

The plant will be Sundrop's first production facility, and will put the company's technology that converts wood waste and natural gas into biofuel fuel to the test. The plant will use wood waste or "slash," including branches, tree tops and bottoms and low-grade trees.

Sundrop's plan, along with test burns of woody biomass by Cleco Corp. in Pineville, are bringing fresh hope to the state's forestry sector following the closure in 2009 of International Paper's Pineville mill, industry experts say.

Buck Vandersteen, executive director of the Louisiana Forestry Assn., said Louisiana was blessed with an abundance of resources, and Sundrop and Cleco's ability to use what is left behind after timber is harvested will create a benefit. He added: "For those thinking forestry is going away, that couldn't be further from the truth."

The primary source of this article is thetowntalk.com, Alexandria, Louisiana, on Jan. 6, 2011.

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