Business Briefs

By Pellet Mill Magazine | August 01, 2019

Pinnacle’s Bax assumes role of chief operating officer
Effective July 2, Pinnacle Renewable Energy’s President and Chief Operating Officer Leroy Reitsma began transitioning from his current role to focus solely on Pinnacle's U.S. development projects, the company announced in late June. Reitsma joined Pinnacle in 2007 and was appointed president and chief operating officer in 2011. In recognition of his accomplishments and increasing responsibilities in the organization, Scott Bax, current senior vice president of operations, will succeed Reitsma in the role of chief operating officer, reporting to CEO Rob McCurdy.

Bax joined Pinnacle in 2013 and has been instrumental in the safe and cost-effective production of quality wood pellets from Pinnacle's facilities. Prior to joining Pinnacle, Bax acquired more than 20 years of forestry experience in various logging and wood manufacturing operations throughout Canada and the United States. Bax holds a master’s degree in business administration as well as a master of forestry from the University of Alberta, and a bachelor of science (environment) from the University of Guelph.

FuelCell Energy, Drax announce new carbon capture project
FuelCell Energy Inc. announced it has entered into a contract with Drax Power Station for an application of its carbon capture solution.

Under the contract, FuelCell Energy will support Drax with a front-end engineering and design study evaluating the use of its proprietary carbonate fuel cells to capture carbon dioxide emissions from Drax’s biomass boilers. FuelCell Energy said its carbon capture technology is based on its proprietary carbonate fuel cell power plants, which are able to concentrate carbon dioxide from dilute flue gas streams as a side reaction during power generation. The concentrated carbon dioxide is then available for sequestration or utilization.

The initial FEED study is scheduled to be complete in late 2019 and will include a detailed design and cost estimate for the demonstration. Completion of the FEED study may lead to the construction and operation of the demonstration system in a subsequent project.

The U.K. Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy awarded £500,000 ($633,500) toward the £1 million fuel cell biogenic carbon capture demonstration project.

Morbark’s Burkholder retires
Larry Burkholder, industrial sales representative for Morbark LLC, has retired after nearly 57 years with the company, the company announced June 27.

While Burkholder’s contributions have been mainly with the sales team, he served in a wide range of roles within Morbark during his career, from accounting to marketing. He joined Morbark on Oct. 7, 1962, as a bookkeeper and acting as a sales assistant to Ralph Morey, the brother of company founder Norval Morey, and has held the positions of marketing manager, manager of Recycling Systems Inc., a division of Morbark; and vice president and general manager of Morbark of the Lake States Inc., a franchised dealer based in Tomahawk, Wisconsin.

Burkholder excelled at sales at Morbark, helping his sales region earn the highest annual revenue for the company. He actively participated in the industry and community throughout his career, having served as president of the National Wood Energy Association during its formative years in the 1980s, and on the boards or as a member of several industry associations, including the American Loggers Council, Michigan Forest Products Committee and the Forest Resources Association.

Schulz elected to Bühler Group board
At its general shareholders’ meeting on June 21, Bühler added a new member to its board of directors with the nomination of Rainer Schulz.  After obtaining a degree in production technology, for which he was awarded the promotion prize of the Association of German Engineers VDI, Schulz held various materials management and production supply chain positions in the electronics and mechanical engineering industries.

 Since 1995, Schulz has acted as head of production and later as general head of purchasing in charge of global procurement at the jet engine builder BMW Rolls-Royce AeroEngines. In 2001, he moved on to the global REHAU Group. As chief operating officer, he was in charge within the context of the company management of the engineering, production, and materials management functions. In 2010, Schulz was appointed CEO of the REHAU Group, a position he held until mid-2018.