Thunderbolt Biomass to build South Carolina wood pellet plant

By South Carolina Regional Development Alliance | March 31, 2017

Thunderbolt Biomass Inc., a manufacturer of wood pellets from sawmill residuals, is launching new processing operations in Allendale County, South Carolina. The company is planning to invest $6 million in the project, creating 35 new jobs.

At the new facility, Thunderbolt Biomass will produce industrial renewable fuel from biomass sourced from the area adjacent to the plant. Additionally, the plant will produce a variety of raw materials, such as sawmill residuals, forestry residuals, thinnings and in-woods chip operations. The facility will also produce horse and animal beddings, domestic fuel and more.

Located on an eight-acre site at 1624 Bluff Road in Allendale, South Carolina, the company's Allendale County operations will be housed in a 14,550-square-foot metal building. A wood pellet mill, with a capacity of 60,000 tons per annum, will also be installed on the site. Adjacent to the building will be raw material reception equipment, a dryer, storage silos, sieves, hammermills and environmental equipment.

Hiring for the new positions is projected to begin in the second quarter of 2017, and interested applicants should apply through SC Works.  

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to this project. Allendale County was also awarded a $100,000 Rural Infrastructure Fund grant to assist with costs related to this project.

"Thunderbolt Biomass is very pleased to announce its plans for a new pellet mill in Allendale, S.C.," said Thunderblot Biomass President Knox Grant. "We are very happy to be building this plant in an area of abundant forestry resources, infrastructure and with the active support of the S.C. Department of Commerce and the SouthernCarolina Economic Alliance, whose personnel and expertise were critical in bringing this project to Allendale. We intend to be good partners in developing our business here, to hire locally as much as we can and look forward to many profitable years in this community." -Thunderbolt Biomass President Knox Grant

"Companies come to our state and invest in our people because of all our state has to offer, and we're excited to see what the future holds for Thunderbolt Biomass in Allendale County." -Gov. Henry McMaster

"South Carolina continues to see its manufacturing and forestry sectors grow and create jobs. Today's announcement from Thunderbolt Biomass builds on our state's success in these sectors, and I'm proud to welcome this terrific company to Team South Carolina." -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

"Thunderbolt's investment reflects its confidence in our state's abundant forest resource and the many landowners who sustainably manage their woodlands. This facility will join the hundreds of other mills in South Carolina that contribute to forestry's rank as one of the leading manufacturing sectors in terms of jobs and labor income." -South Carolina State Forester Gene Kodama

"Allendale County welcomes Thunderbolt Biomass to our industrial community. The company will be providing 35 jobs with good salaries, and every one of those jobs represents a family whose future will be improved by a good job with a nice income. That's how we will improve the quality of life for the people of our area." -Allendale County Council Chairman Bill Robinson

"Thunderbolt Biomass will be an outstanding addition to our region's forest products industry sector, and we look forward to having this green industry locating in our region. SouthernCarolina Alliance will continue to work with Thunderbolt Biomass to create the best conditions possible for a profitable bottom line, providing job creation in our communities." -SouthernCarolina Alliance Chairman Buddy Phillips

"The people of Allendale County are proud that Thunderbolt Biomass has selected Allendale County for their biomass pellet manufacturing operation. We believe it speaks to the quality of our workforce and the strength of our resources in wood products. We are grateful for their $6 million investment and the creation of 35 high-paying jobs." -Allendale Aeronautics and Economic Development Commission Chairwoman Barbara Lewis