Business Briefs

People, Products & Partnerships
By Erin Voegele | January 13, 2017

1. Morbark appoints CEO
Morbark has appointed David Herr as CEO. In addition to being an active member of the current Morbark board, he has more than 30 years of relevant experience in operations, supply chain management and executive management with major companies, including Navistar, GE Aircraft Engines and BAE Systems. He has diverse business experience in heavy-duty truck manufacturing, commercial avionics, commercial ship repair, munitions production, and information and intelligence analysis. In his most recent role as executive vice president at BAE Systems, Herr was responsible for one of the largest government service sectors in the U.S. with more than 19,000 employees. He also currently serves as a board member for MHI Holdings, a ship repair contractor for the U.S. Navy.

2. Barko adds product manager
Steve Talaga has been appointed product manager for forestry equipment manufacturer Barko Hydraulics LLC, part of the Pettibone Heavy Equipment Group. In his new position, Talaga is responsible for product line development, market analysis, and general support and interaction with Barko dealers and customers. Talaga previously worked for sister company Pettibone/Traverse Lift LLC for more than four years, first as a service technician and then as a design engineer.


3. SBP announces directorate changes
The Sustainable Biomass Partnership has announced Dorothy Thompson has retired as a director and chairman of the board. Thomas Dalsgaard, who has been a director of the company since 2013, succeeds Thompson as chairman.

4. Eastern Instruments introduces flow meter
Eastern Instruments has introduced the CentriFlow BWS, an economical and accurate gravimetric in-line mass flow meter that serves as an alternative to impact flow meters and belt scales for the dynamic measurement of solids while in process. The BWS can be used to measure granular solids such as grains, pellets, beans, wood chips, pet food along with free-flowing granular powders, such as sand.

5. Rentech adds CFO
Paul Summers has been appointed as chief financial officer (CFO) of Rentech Inc., replacing Jeffrey Spain. Summers will be responsible for overseeing the finance, treasury and accounting functions of the company. He served as Rentech’s vice president and treasurer immediately prior to his appointment as CFO and has held various finance related roles at Rentech since 2006. Prior to joining Rentech, Summers held positions at Salomon Smith Barney, Citigroup Inc. and Allied Capital Corp.

6. American Biomass acquires Okanagan Wood Pellets
American Biomass Corp. Inc. has completed its purchase of Okanagan Wood Pellets from Viridis Energy Inc. American Biomass began offering Okanagan brand high-quality softwood pellets to retailers immediately, just in time for the peak demand in wood pellets.


7. Baringa Partners to lead ETI biomass logistics project
The Energy Technologies Institute recently appointed energy consultancy Baringa Partners to lead a new ETI bioenergy project, alongside renewable energy consultancy Ecofys and supply chain management software provider LLamasoft. Together, the companies will examine the future of biomass logistics in the U.K. The project will model the logistics requirements of different future bioenergy scenarios, identifying commonalities and differences, key decisions and actions required to ensure logistics infrastructure in the U.K. can support a growing bioenergy sector through 2050.

8. Colombo Energy qualifies under PFI Standards Program
The Pellet Fuels Institute recently announced the qualification of pellet fuel manufacturer Colombo Energy of Greenwood, South Carolina, into the Pellet Fuels Institute Standards Program. The PFI Standards Program is a third-party accreditation program providing specifications for residential- and commercial-grade pellet fuel, now representing 17 pellet manufacturing companies with a combined 29 facilities.

9. Drax Biomass helps protect wetlands
Drax Biomass Inc. marked National Bioenergy Day by declaring the cypress and tupelo stands found in forested wetlands, including the Atchafalaya Basin, to be off-limits for its timber purchases. The “river of trees,” noted for its magnificent cypress-tupelo swamps, has been eyed by logging operations, some illegal, for mulch and lately for wood pellets. A collaborative effort between Drax Biomass and Atchafalaya Basinkeeper (ABK) aims to provide greater protections for these and other valuable forested wetlands. The two organizations have worked together to agree on a set of sourcing practices that will strengthen environmental protection and promote sustainable use of forest resources. By committing to these sourcing practices on National Bioenergy Day, DBI and ABK hope to encourage other bioenergy companies to follow suit.

10. BTEC adds board member
Dane Floyd, president and CEO of Biomass Engineering and Equipment, has been elected to serve on the Biomass Thermal Energy Council board of directors. Biomass Engineering and Equipment designs and manufactures machinery for the biomass and wood processing industries, while BTEC advances the sustainable use of wood and agricultural biomass for clean, efficient heat and combined heat and power to meet America’s energy needs and strengthen local economies.

11. Pinnacle, NORDEN sign contract
Dampskibsselskabet NORDEN A/S has announced a nine-year contract to transport pellets for Canada-based Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. Starting in 2018, NORDEN will transport 3.5 million metric tons of wood pellets from Vancouver and Prince Rupert in western Canada to Europe. NORDEN is expected to make eight shipments per year for Pinnacle using Supramax vessels. Each trip is expected to take approximately 65 days.

12. Enviva acquires North Carolina plant
Enviva Partners LP has completed the acquisition of a pellet plant in Sampson County, North Carolina, and associated off-take contracts from Enviva Holdings LP’s  joint venture with affiliates of John Hancock Life Insurance Co. The Sampson plant is expected to produce approximately 500,000 metric tons of wood pellets in 2017 and to reach its full production capacity of approximately 600,000 metric tons in 2019. In addition to the plant, the transaction includes a 10-year, 420,000 metric-ton-per-year offtake contract with an affiliate of DONG Energy Thermal Power A/S, a 15-year, 95,000 metric-ton-per-year offtake contract with the Hancock JV, and matching third-party shipping contracts.