Business Briefs

By Staff | February 22, 2011

Vermeer enters whole-tree chipper market
Vermeer Corp. has introduced the WC2300 whole-tree chipper designed specifically to produce chips for the growing biomass industry. The WC2300 features many proven technologies developed by Vermeer. The heart of the WC2300 is its innovative in-feed system that includes variable-speed, dual in-feed conveyor chains, a conveyor head pulley with integral grip bars and an aggressive large-diameter in-feed roller with crush capability. These design elements provide efficient feeding of difficult material types, reducing the number of times an operator has to handle the material. In addition, the in-feed conveyor chains are individually tensioned to accommodate unequal chain wear, allowing the operator to replace a single chain at a time.

ADI Group creates new position
Hollis Cole, CEO of ADI Group Inc., announced the addition of Joséf Leão to the ADI team. ADI Group created the new position of manager of biogas applications for ADI Systems Inc., one of the ADI Group of companies. This position allows ADI to place greater emphasis on worldwide opportunities of utilizing biogas, a viable source of green energy. Leão comes to ADI with more than 30 years experience in engineering, logistics and operations plus strong academic and professional credentials. Fluent in six languages, his background in biogas utilization and green energy systems complements the technical abilities of existing ADI staff.

Metso to supply biomass plant in Estonia
Metso will supply Oü Helme Energia with a biomass power plant for combined-heat-and-power production in the township of Helme, Estonia. The power plant will be delivered by the Metso-Wärtsilä joint venture MW Power. The value of the order is more than €15 million ($20.7 million). Scheduled for start-up the third quarter of 2012, the  plant will utilize bubbling fluidized bed technology using a combination of spruce bark, chipped logging residue and wood chips or milled peat as the main fuels. The plant will produce 15 megawatts (MW) of heat and 6.4 MW of electricity, which will partly be utilized in the customer’s own pellet factory and the rest will be distributed into the national grid. Oü Helme Energia is a subsidiary of AS Graanul Invest, which is a private capital-based company dealing with bioenergy and renewable energy production.

Natgun and Dyk merge and form DN Tanks
Natgun Corp., Wakefield, Mass., and Dyk Inc., El Cajon, Calif., jointly announced the merger of their companies and the formation of their new parent company DN Tanks Inc. Both companies specialize in the design and construction of prestressed concrete storage tanks used for potable water, wastewater, chilled water and other liquids. The merger of the two companies, with more than 130 years of combined experience, creates the largest producer of wire and strand-wound prestressed concrete tanks in the world. Initially, Natgun and Dyk will operate under their existing names, as divisions of DN Tanks. As the integration process takes place, they will evolve into a single operating company. A four-member board of directors, comprised of Charles Crowley, William Hendrickson, William Crowley, and David Gourley, will lead DN Tanks. Charles Crowley and Hendrickson will serve as co-CEOs.

Howard joins Ze-gen as CEO
Ze-gen Inc., a developer and integrator of advanced gasification technology to convert waste streams into synthesis gas, has hired Walter Howard as CEO, replacing Bill Davis who founded Ze-gen in 2004. An industry veteran, with more than 30 years of global power project development experience, Howard has held executive positions with utility leaders. Davis will remain on Ze-gen's board of directors and stay actively involved as an adviser to Ze-gen focused on special projects.

DP CleanTech appoints board chair, extends European manufacturing capacity
Zhang Shengman was appointed chairman of the board for DP CleanTech Group Ltd. Shengman is the chairman of Citigroup in the Asia Pacific, which employs more than 50,000 people in 19 countries generating revenues approaching $15 billion. Shengman is also on the board of directors of Guangdong Development Bank. DP CleanTech recently made its first significant investment in Poland by building a workshop in JÄ™drzejów to manufacture boilers and pressure parts to serve the European biomass and waste-to-energy market. The investment is a reflection of the increasing demand for DP CleanTech’s products in Europe. Biomass power has been identified as an effective and affordable means for meeting renewable energy targets in Eastern European countries and DP CleanTech is developing several projects.

NEF, Spriggers Choice develop miscanthus production equipment
New Energy Farms, a miscanthus developer, and Spriggers Choice, a Georgia-based manufacturer of sprig and rhizome harvesting and planting equipment, have developed equipment for growers to lift and plant miscanthus rhizomes. NEF is developing miscanthus as an energy crop for combustion and liquid biofuel uses across North America and the European Union. Spriggers Choice has been developing and manufacturing sprig and rhizome harvesters and planters for 22 years, embodying the knowledge acquired from 26 years of experience in the custom sprig and rhizome harvesting and planting business. Successful collaboration has resulted in the development of two new machines to lift and plant miscanthus rhizomes, which will be available in time for the current rhizome planting season.
SACE relocates headquarters
After more than five years on the 100 block of Gay Street in downtown Knoxville, Tenn., the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s headquarters has moved to 3804 Middlebrook Pike. The recently purchased office provides more space for SACE’s expanding staff, and allows for SACE to demonstrate energy efficient technology and renewable energy generation. SACE has begun instituting energy efficient retrofits, and will showcase a clean and efficient businesses operation. Updates on the building modifications will be available through SACE’s website,

MHG provides Bioenergy ERP to Spain’s largest biomass supplier
MHG Systems Ltd. has started the first phase of MHG Bioenergy ERP implementation with FactorVerde SA, the largest biomass supplier in Spain. With MHG Bioenergy ERP, FactorVerde will be able to control and monitor the whole biomass delivery chain from small roadside storages, through transportation and terminals, all the way to the power plant silos. FactorVerde CEO Roberto De Antonio Garcia says the company chose MHG Bioenergy ERP, because of the strong bioenergy focus of the system and possibilities to control and manage the scattered workforce in an easy and reliable manner.

Capstone’s Crouse appointed to REEE advisory committee
Capstone Turbine Corp., a manufacturer of microturbine energy systems, announced that U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke recently named Capstone Executive Vice President Jim Crouse to a national advisory committee that will promote U.S. exports of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. The 29-member Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency advisory committee will advise Locke on the development and implementation of programs and policies to help expand the competitiveness of the U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency industries. Crouse and other committee members also will develop strategies to identify and expand export markets for the industries, both in the short- and long-term.

NY Biomass Energy Alliance selects new leadership
The New York Biomass Energy Alliance has selected a new slate of officers to advance low-value wood, biomass crops and waste material as an affordable source of local energy to meet the state’s heat, power and fuel needs. Jim Waters, executive director of the Catskill Forest Association, will serve as the organization’s chair. The organization’s new president is Charlie Niebling, general manager of New England Wood Pellet, a supplier of biomass fuel, with two pellet production facilities in New York. Joseph Visalli will serve as the organization’s issues coordinator. The New York Biomass Energy Alliance is a membership organization, operating under the formal sponsorship of the New York Farm Viability Institute in Syracuse. For more information, go to