Business Briefs

By Pellet Mill Magazine | March 25, 2020

Vecoplan Midwest expands team for wood biomass
Vecoplan Midwest LLC has augmented its sales team to increase its focus on wood and biomass markets. In addition, the company has hired a new engineer for projects and product development.
Willie Baldwin is based in Portland, Oregon, and comes from the primary wood industry. Serving in roles including customer service, inside and outside sales and sales management, he has over 20 years’ experience. He will be focusing on western states for Vecoplan.

Will Brennan serves as an independent rep for Vecoplan in western Canada. Based in the Vancouver area, Brennan specializes in size reduction biomass applications. He has over 25 years’ experience in various industries including primary and secondary wood processing and material handling. His technical background in mechanical engineering technology allows him to contribute to complex projects regarding wood and biomass waste.

Mike Proost has over 25 years in industrial sales throughout the U.S. Midwest and West regions. Proost brings to Vecoplan expertise in material reduction and handling applications in various sectors. His expertise in size-reducing technology applies to many materials, allowing him to identify cost savings opportunities for facilities, including production and conveyor efficiencies and extending machine life. Proost is based in St. Louis and covers the central Midwest, south to Oklahoma and New Mexico.

In Indiana, Vecoplan Midwest has hired Cliff von Hoene as sales engineer, who will join the team that oversees projects and engineering functions for the company. For the past 35 years, von Hoene has worked both domestically and abroad, including in Asia and Europe. He specializes in industrial design in fabrication and manufacturing for both large and small customer sectors.

Lisle, Restoration Fuels win industry awards
The 13th Annual International Biomass Conference & Expo welcomed nearly 900 attendees Feb. 4-6 in Nashville, Tennessee, bestowing two prestigious industry awards during the general session. Bruce Lisle, CEO of Energex Corp., was presented with the Excellence in Bioenergy Award for his 30 years of market and industry development in the wood pellet sector.

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities and its commercial-scale torrefaction project, Restoration Fuels, in John Day, Oregon, was Groundbreaker of the Year. Accepting the award on the endowment’s behalf was CEO Carlton Owen.

Skeena Bioenergy wins grant to produce pellets from slash
The Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia announced it will award $408,320 to Terrace, British Columbia-based Skeena Bioenergy Ltd. to use materials from slash piles to make wood pellets in the Coast Mountains Natural Resources District. A statement released by the government of British Columbia notes the project will involve approximately 22,000 cubic meters of biomass.

The grant awarded to Skeena Bioenergy was part of a larger $2.74 million grant funding announcement that aims to support four projects that will support forestry contractors and increase the use of wood fiber that would otherwise be burned

USDA: US wood pellet exports reach 6.89 million tons in 2019
The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service released data on Feb. 5 reporting that the U.S. exported 541,893 metric tons (MT) of wood pellets in December, bringing total pellet exports for 2019 to 6.89 million tons.

Wood pellet exports were down in December when compared to the 777,976 million (MT) exported in November, and 594,411 MT in December 2018.

The U.S. exported wood pellets to more than a dozen countries in December. The U.K. was the top destination with 377,055 MT, followed by Denmark with 89,411 and Belgium-Luxembourg with 62,858 MT.