Currant, AWF achieve PFI certification
The Pellet Fuels Institute has announced Massena, N.Y.-based Curran Renewable Energy and American Wood Fibers, with locations in Circleville, Ohio, and Marion, Va., have officially qualified under the PFI pellet fuel standards program, which is a third-party certification program that provides standard specifications for residential- and commercial-grade fuel. The qualification is the result of work that Curran and AWF have done in conjunction with PFI, the American Lumber Standard Committee and Timber Products Inspection Inc. Both pellet producers have agreements with Timber Products Inspection to provide auditing and third-party laboratory testing.
St. Joe Company, Enova sign LOI
The St. Joe Company has announced it signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Enova Energy Group. Enova has expressed an interest in transporting 1 million or more metric tons of wood pellets using the AN Railway to the Port of Port St. Joe for further shipment to overseas markets. The project could also result in the development of port site facilities, provided that the port is capable of accepting vessels of adequate size for the shipment of commercial wood pellets.
FutureMetrics paper highlights phase-zero analyses
FutureMetrics LLC has published a white paper outlining how its prefeasibility, “phase-zero” analyses for prospective pellet export projects can provide assistance in defining whether a project is feasible before significant financial resources are spent. As part of its phase-zero services, FutureMetrics’ partner, Innovative Natural Resources Solutions LLC, conducts a site wood study. The FutureMetrics team also completes a high-level site analysis that incorporates permitting, zoning and other siting issues. The team also addresses factors related to transportation, port storage and ship loading, and produces a financial analysis that identifies and quantifies critical risks and estimates project development costs and timelines.
Drax, partners unveil scaled-up biomass railcar
The Drax Group plc, Lloyd’s Register Rail and WH Davis have unveiled a biomass rail-car that features a capacity of more than 2,500 cubic feet, 30 percent larger than traditional U.K. railcars. The car is able to transport up to 71.6 metric tons of biomass. In addition to larger hauling capacity, the car features automatic magnetic door operation and efficient flow control to manage biomass loading and unloading. Drax has ordered 200 of the units to contribute to its coal to biomass conversion. The product was unveiled in July at the National Railway Museum in York, U.K.
Viridis enters agreement with Ekman & Co.
Viridis Energy Inc. has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Scotia Atlantic Biomass Co. Ltd. has entered into an agreement with Ekman & Co. AB. Under the agreement, Ekman will serve as Scotia’s exclusive worldwide agent to market its entire wood pellet production. Ekman will provide Scotia with sales opportunities including sales into different markets and market segments. The initial agreement spans 24 months and an aggregate projected wood pellet production of up to 240,000 metric tons.
EPA administrator takes office
The U.S. Senate voted to approve Gina McCarthy’s nomination to lead the U.S. EPA. Prior to her nomination, McCarthy served as assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. She replaced former Administrator Lisa Jackson, who resigned in December 2012.
Court vacates EPA Deferral Rule
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled in the case of Center for Biological Diversity vs. U.S. EPA, vacating the agency’s Deferral Rule. The court said the EPA provided insufficient legal justification to defer greenhouse gas regulation of biogenic emissions.
EcoFuels plans port facility
EcoFuels Pellet Storage LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of ecoFuels LLC, plans to build a new pellet facility at the deepwater Portsmouth Marine Terminal in Porthsmouth, Va. The facility is expected to include two or more 50,000 metric-ton storage domes that will provide annual throughput of 1.5 to 2 million tons on a commingled basis. The company has a 20-year lease on the port sites and expects to begin construction during the third quarter of this year.