Business Briefs

By Staff | July 16, 2013

ABP makes investments to support Drax conversion
Associated British Ports has signed a 15-year contract with Drax Power Ltd., an operating subsidiary of Drax Group plc, to make terminal investments of up to £100 million ($154.86 million) to handle wood pellet shipments at its Humber Ports of Immingham, Hull and Goole to support Drax Power’s conversion to biomass. At the Humber International Terminal at Port of Immingham, ABP will create a dedicated import facility, the Immingham Renewable Fuels Terminal, to handle Panamax-size bulk carriers. It will service up to 3 million metric tons of wood pellets per year. At Hull, ABP is investing in dedicated handling equipment and storage facilities sufficient to handle 1 million metric tons of biomass each year. At Goole, which is only seven miles from Drax, investments will be made in warehousing. 

Niebling rejoins INRS
Charlie Neibling has rejoined Innovative Natural Resources Solutions LLC. He served as a partner with the company in the mid-1990s. INRS is a natural resource consulting company with offices in New Hampshire and Maine that specializes in renewable energy and forest sustainability. As a member of the INRS team, he will continue to work in the biomass thermal sector, in both development and strategic communications. For the past seven years, Neibling was the general manager of New England Wood Pellet. He maintains a consulting agreement with NEWP. Neibling was a founder and first board chair of the Biomass Thermal Energy Council and recently received the 2013 International Excellence in BioEnergy Award from BBI International.

Forestry Endowment adds chief financial officer
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities has announced the addition of Signe Cann as chief financial officer. In her new role, Cann will be responsible for the Endowment’s finances and organization efficiency. Prior to joining the Endowment on a full-time basis, she had been conducting a short-term consulting project on ways to enhance the organization’s financial systems. In January, she accepted the role of interim CFO.

ClearSign, Grandeg announce partnership
ClearSign Combustion Corp. and Grandeg have announced their intention to enter into a development agreement for the integration of ClearSign’s proprietary ECC technology into Grandeg’s line of commercial wood pellet boilers. Grandeg said it intends to provide up to $500,000 in funding to support a phased initial project, with the goal of releasing a first commercial solution to the market in 2014. The companies also intend to explore the possibility of further extending their collaboration as the current program progresses.

BPA announces additions to board of directors
The Biomass Power Association has announced Tom Beck, chief commercial officer of ReEnergy Holdings Inc., as its new chairman of the board. Paula Soos, vice president of government relations at Covanta Energy Corp., the current chair, will serve as vice chair. Bill Libro, director of government affairs for Minnesota Power, and Marvin Burchfield, vice president of the solid fuel business unit at FSE Energy, are joining the board as new members.

Morbark introduces updated microchipper
Morbark Inc. has announced its redesigned 40/36 Whole Tree Microchipper. The latest model includes an enhanced drum set with 16 knives utilizing standard hardware, an operator-friendly, slide-in forestry grate system to reduce oversized chips and a mechanically driven chip accelerator. The new model is able to produce 95 to 98 percent acceptable micro-chips at volumes of more than 70 tons per hour. In customer tests, 95 to 98 percent of the micro-chips produced passed through a half-inch grate, and 72 to 74 percent passed through a one-fourth inch grate. These micro-chips are vital for pellet mills, according to Morbark, eliminating the need to regrind the wood fiber prior to pelletizing.