Zilkha Biomass Energy aiming to finish construction on wood pellet plant in Dallas County, Alabama, by 2014 and begin production shortly afterwards; construction to ramp up in July

LOS ANGELES , June 30, 2014 () – Zilkha Biomass Energy is aiming to finish construction on its wood pellet plant in Dallas County, Alabama, by 2014 and begin production shortly afterwards, said Brad Mayhew, the county’s site production manager, The Selma Times-Journal reported on June 30.

Construction will ramp up in July, Mayhew added.

Before the facility can start up, the company must retrofit more than US$6.2 million worth of equipment purchased in 2010 in a bankruptcy sale from a facility near International Paper’s (IP) Dallas County mill. Dixie Pellets, which produced wood pellets, formerly owned the facility.

Zilkha Biomass Energy must also add storage capacity and build an offloading ramp to the plant, Mayhew noted.

Zilkha initially estimated that the Dallas County plant, which would become a main production site, could produce up to 275,000 tonnes of its patented black pellet. After the facility is completed, Zilkha’s Crockett, Texas, facility would be transitioned to a research role, said Zilkha spokesman Johnathan Ohueri.

Most of the pellets produced in the U.S. are white pellets. Zilkha’s black pellets reportedly generate more energy than normal wood pellets and are also waterproof.

Zilkha, which is not picky about what type of wood it uses to make its pellets, aims to use as much of the tree as possible, Ohueri said, nothing that the company typically targets biomass that is not used by other industries.

Dust, trimmings and bark can all be used as feedstock for Zilkha’s pellets, but silica and dirt are harmful to the pelleting process, Ohueri added.

The primary source of this article is The Selma Times-Journal, Selma, Alabama, on June 30, 2014. Click here to see original article.

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