Drax plans another Mississippi pellet plant

By Anna Simet | May 21, 2014

A unit  of Drax Group that is currently constructing a 450,000-ton wood pellet production facility in Amite County near Gloster, Miss., is planning to build an additional facility roughly 40 miles away in Magnolia, Miss., according to documents filed with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.

The project is being built under the title Pike BioEnergy LLC, proposed for a 103-acre site.

MDEQ opened a 30-day public comment period on the project on May 16. According to the permit application, Pike BioEnergy proposes to install and operate a wet electrostatic precipitator, a regenerative thermal oxidizer, and fabric filters for the control of air emissions at the site, and is taking limits to avoid being classified as a major stationary source for the Prevention of Significant Deterioration.

A Large Construction General Permit was also filed, by Drax Biomass International Inc.’s Vice President of Commercial Development Phillipe De Montigny.

Plans for the newest facility align with statements made by Drax Chief Executive Dorothy Thompson during a 2013 financial earnings call in February, which indicated Drax was pursuing options to develop up to 2 million tons of additional pellet capacity, primarily in the U.S.

In addition to the proposed Pike County and Gloster facilities, Drax is building a $30 million storage facility at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge, and a third 450,000-ton pellet production plant in Bastrop, Miss., which was recently approved for a $500,000 economic development loan by the board of the Louisiana Economic Development Corp.