Grant supports Kentucky pellet project

By Erin Voegele | January 13, 2017

A proposed 75,000 ton-per-year pellet project in Harlan County, Kentucky, is expected to benefit from a $2.52 million grant. The funds will be used to leverage an additional $10.5 million in private investment from Harlan Wood Products LLC.

The project is to be located at a previously reclaimed abandoned mine lands site in Yancey, Kentucky. Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin recently announced that the Harlan County Industrial Development Authority Inc. received preliminary approval from the U.S. Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement for the grant.

While Harlan Wood Products will provide the investment to purchase and install the equipment used in the manufacturing process, the Harlan County Industrial Development Authority will use the $2.52 million to ensure that the site has the necessary water, natural gas and electric, foundation work and shell facility to house the equipment and access road upgrades.

Pellets produced at the facility are expected to be exported to Europe, primarily Italy and Denmark, for sale into the residential and commercial markets. Feedstock for the plant is expected to consist of cull timber and branches greater than 4 inches in diameter that remain from area logging operations, as well as sawdust from nearby wood processing facilities.