Business Briefs

By Anna Simet | November 01, 2018

Babcock & Wilcox to move headquarters to Ohio 
Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises Inc. announced it has reached an agreement with joint venture developers Industrial Commercial Properties LLC and Industrial Realty Group LLC to lease new office space in the renovated East End development in Akron, Ohio. Its Barberton and Copley operations will relocate to this new space in 2019. Additionally, B&W announced it is relocating its corporate headquarters to Ohio from Charlotte, North Carolina.

B&W anticipates its employees will move into the new space in the third quarter of 2019, while the relocation of its corporate headquarters to Barberton is effective immediately. B&W’s Barberton and Copley offices employ approximately 700 people.

Roeslein receives Saint Louis University Alumni Merit Award
Rudi Roeslein, founder of Roeslein & Associates and Roeslein Alternative Energy, received the 2018 Saint Louis University Alumni Merit Award, which honors distinguished graduates in recognition of their outstanding achievements, dedication to a chosen profession, and commitment to the mission of the university.

In 1990, Roeslein founded Roeslein & Associates, a global engineering, modular fabrication and construction firm with over 600 employees spread across six locations in North America, Europe and Asia. In 2012, he founded RAE, which is currently developing a $120 million project that converts the manure from 2 million hogs on nine farms into renewable natural gas. In addition, RAE, along with the Smithfield Foundation and the Environmental Defense Fund, has launched a project to convert 1,000 acres of highly erodible land back to native prairie in an effort to provide market solutions for the production of renewable natural gas, wildlife habitat and ecological services.

Atlantic Power to acquire 2 South Carolina biomass plants
Atlantic Power Corp. announced Sept. 20 that it has executed an agreement to acquire two biomass plants in South Carolina from EDF Renewables Inc. for $13 million. The Allendale plant is located in Allendale, South Carolina, and the Dorchester plant is in Harleyville, South Carolina. Each of the plants has a capacity of 20 MW.

Closing of the transaction is expected to occur late in third quarter fourth quarter 2019. The transaction is not subject to regulatory approval. Atlantic Power will assume operation of the plants at closing, or potentially earlier, subject to negotiation of an agreement with EDF Renewables. The purchase will be funded from the company's discretionary cash. 

Shaw Resources acquires ENplus certification
Nova Scotia-based Shaw Resources announced it has acquired ENplus certification for its Eastern Embers Wood Pellets. The company is one of just a few pellet producers in Canada to receive the certification, which is an independent certification scheme for wood pellet quality run by the European Pellet Council. ENplus is used by nearly 900 companies in over 45 countries.

Headquartered in Milford, Nova Scotia, Shaw Resources supplies industrial and specialized aggregates markets. The company has two aggregate processing plants and two wood pellets plants that serve customers in the Atlantic region, North America and Europe.

Martin Engineering introduces conveyor belt cleaner
Martin Engineering, a conveyor belt cleaning technology company, has introduced a new design specifically for applications where space for installation is limited.  The new SQC2STM RM (Reduced Mini) Cleaner from Martin Engineering is a compact, secondary belt cleaner that allows installation in close quarters, built with a narrow profile that resists material buildup. The unit is one of Martin Engineering’s Safety First family of products, helping customers achieve OSHA compliance. 

PFI Social Media Effort Off to Strong Start
A social media test campaign planned and deployed by the Pellet Fuels Institute has generated over 1 million impressions in just over three weeks, as of mid-October.Using Facebook and Instagram, the PFI is targeting potential pellet appliance buyers in specific markets to raise their awareness of pellet heat while also directing them to specific retail partners in the area. “The key to growing the market opportunity for our producer-members is selling more pellet appliances,” said Tim Portz, executive director of the PFI. “This campaign is our first step in figuring out how to help our retail partners accomplish that.”

Over 45,000 consumers saw Facebook and Instagram ads featuring pellet appliance messages in the first three weeks of the campaign.

Pinnacle to acquire majority stake in Alabama pellet plant
Pinnacle Renewable Holdings Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a 70 percent interest in an operating industrial wood pellet production facility located in Aliceville, Alabama, from The Westervelt Co., a diversified land resources company. Westervelt will retain a 30 percent interest in the Aliceville facility.

The Aliceville facility has an annual production capacity of approximately 270,000 metric tons of industrial wood pellets. Approximately 210,000 metric tons per annum is committed under a long-term off-take contract to a major European utility. The remaining production volume from the plant will be sold through Pinnacle’s contracted backlog of long-term, take-or-pay offtake contracts.

The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, was expected to close in early October.

Maine pellet project awarded $200,000 grant
A proposed wood pellet plant in Maine was recently awarded a $200,000 grant through the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program. The REAP award was announced by Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine.
According to information released by Pingree’s office, T&D Wood Energy LLC was awarded $200,000 in REAP funding to support the development of a $5.7 million wood pellet plant in Sanford, Maine. The mid-sized pellet plant will be built adjacent to an operating white pine sawmill. The pellet mill will utilize all the wood residues coming from that sawmill. It will also purchase additional wood waste residues from other sawmills in the region.

A USDA fact sheet on the project states the project will generate more than 164 million kilowatt-hours annually, enough electricity to power 15,142 homes.

Morbark hosts demo days, introduces new Chiparvestor
From Sept. 26-28, Morbark welcomed more than 250 guests within the forestry, biomass, recycling, sawmill and tree care industries to its 12th Demo Days.

The event offers attendees the opportunity to watch equipment in action, meet the people who build and support the equipment, and see firsthand the manufacturing processes utilized. Events included factory tours, networking opportunities, vendor booths and a chance to see equipment up close.

At this year’s event, the new 23X Chiparvestor was introduced. Morbark has been producing mobile whole tree disc chippers since the 1970s, and like the previous Model 23 Chiparvestors, the 23X uses a 75-inch diameter by 5-inch-thick chipper disc to chip large volumes of wood, while the built-in dirt separator with deflector keeps the end product clean. The new model hosts several key improvements.

Eqtec to provide technology to Phoenix Biomass Energy
Eqtec plc, a technology solution company for waste gasification to energy projects, announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Phoenix Biomass Energy, a California-based power company, to supply its proprietary Eqtec gasifier technology to two biomass power facilities in California, a 2 MWe and 3 MWe gasification plant.

Collectively, the two contracts are expected to be valued near 10 million euros ($11.5 million). Financial close is expected in late Q4 2018 and the purchase contracts executed shortly thereafter. Subject to the outcome of these first two projects, Phoenix has indicated desire to utilize Eqtec technology and equipment on other future projects in the U.S., in respect to its development pipeline that utilizes gasification technology.