Business Briefs

By Staff | April 04, 2013

BTEC elects new executive officers
The Biomass Thermal Energy Council has announced its newly elected executive officers for the 2013 board of directors. The executive committee that will lead organization in 2013 include Chairman Dan Wilson, vice president of Wilson Engineering Services; Vice Chair Dan Arnett, biomass coordinator for Ernst Conservation Seeds; Treasurer Robert Davis, founder and CEO of Forest Energy Corp.; and Secretary John Ackerly, president of the Alliance for Green Heat.

Georgia Southern University opens pilot pellet mill
Georgia Southern University’s Herty Advanced Materials Development Center has opened the first fully-integrated pilot pellet mill in the U.S. The new production line includes a nearly $2 million investment in process equipment. The facility is designed to provide a much-needed platform for innovation in process technology and pellet design. With the new mill, Herty will work with technology providers and developers to help validate product development projects. The team will also support researchers working to enhance pellet design, and will support the development of methods to lower operating costs. Capabilities and services provided through the new pilot operation include biomass preparation and pretreatment, biomass testing and pellet analysis.

UK Biomass Heating Group forms as industry voice
In response to the U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change’s request for a single trade association with which to negotiate and act as a collective voice for companies in the biomass heating industry, the Energy and Utilities Alliance has launched the Biomass Heating Group. The group is led by the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council and the Industrial and Commercial Energy Association. The Biomass Heating Group is designed to be mutually beneficial to its members and the U.K. government.

LC Energy acquires pellet business
LC Energy, an England-based specialist in sustainable wood supply, has acquired Harvest Wood Fuels’ bulk pellet business. The company, based in Tilford, Surrey, England, is a top supplier of high-grade wood pellets. LC Energy operates in the southern and eastern regions of England with an established base of public, private and commercial customers. Harvest Wood Fuels’ founder Lance Trevellyan recently received planning permission to develop a wood chip-fired combined-heat-and-power plant and wood pellet production facility at the Tilford location.

Pellet producer makes third shipment to EU
New Biomass Energy LLC has announced its third shipment of torrefied wood pellets to Europe. The shipment, announced in late January, consisted of 4,000 tons of product. To meet growing demand from Europe, the company is expanding its production facility in Quintmas, Miss. The expansion will increase capacity from 150,000 tons to 250,000 tons, and is expected to be complete later this year.

Maine hospital commissions biomass boiler
Maine-based Millinocket Regional Hospital has celebrated the commissioning of its wood pellet-powered steam boiler. The project is part of the Wood 2 Energy Grants Program awarded under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 and distributed by the U.S. Forest Service to the Maine Forest Service. Statewide, there are approximately 22 similar projects receiving a total of $10.5 million in recovery funds. The hospital received a $258,978 grant to support the $475,000 project. The project is expected to result in $2 million in savings over the next 10 years. The hospital partnered with NorthLine Energy of Edmond, Wash., to complete the project.

Finalists announced for wood stove design competition
The Alliance for Green Heat has announced 14 finalists for the first-ever Wood Stove Design Challenge. The competition challenges participants to design affordable, cleaner-burning wood stoves for use in residential heating applications. In selecting the finalists, judges looked for designs that could produce ultra-low emissions and operate in a highly efficient manner. Innovation, affordability and marketability were also considerations. Among the stoves selected are those controlled by microprocessors and connected to smartphones, as well as those based on 17th century Scandinavian designs. The finalists’ stoves will be tested and judged on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in November. The winner will receive a $25,000 award.