Arkansas pellet plant begins operations

By Erin Voegele | January 13, 2017

Highland Pellet’s 600,000 metric-ton wood pellet plant in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, officially opened in late 2016 and was undergoing commissioning in December. The facility was expected to begin producing pellets by the end of the year.

Plans for the $229 million, four-line plant were initially announced in August of 2014. The company engaged Astec Inc. as engineering, procurement and construction contractor. It is Astec’s second major wood pellet plant project. Andritz and Progress Industries provided pellet mill and wood yard equipment.

Once fully operational, the facility will take in approximately 1.4 million tons of wood feedstock annually, mostly southern yellow pine. Pellets produced at the facility will be transported by Union Pacific on mainline rail to the Port of Greater Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for export to Europe.