Green Energy Resources exports woodchips to Sweden

By Erin Voegele
New York-based energy woodchip supplier Green Energy Resources Inc. recently announced the signing of a two-year, $50 million contract to supply woodchips to an unnamed entity in Sweden. Green Energy Resources will ship the recipient approximately $2 million worth of woodchips each month. According to Joseph Murray, Green Energy Resources president and chief executive officer, the first batch of woodchips would be shipped as soon as the company could secure an icebreaker, a special-purpose ship designed to navigate ice-covered waters.

Before the woodchips are exported, they must be treated to kill any pests or insects in the wood. According to Murray, the woodchips that his company is shipping to Sweden must be heat-treated as chemical fumigation is not currently permitted for woodchips bound for Europe. Green Energy Resources has developed a process to do this. While Murray said he can't share specific details about the process, he said the real advantage is "it's relatively inexpensive."

Regulations require that wood bound for export must be heated to a temperature of 56 degrees Celsius (132.8 degrees Fahrenheit) for a period of 30 minutes, Murray said. In addition, each export shipment of woodchips must gain federal approval from the USDA. "Each time you make a shipment, you have to go through the [approval] process," he said. According to Murray, the USDA recently approved the company's first shipment of treated woodchips.

Green Energy Resources currently ships woodchips out of Linden, N.J., and has plans to activate its Baltimore port within the next few months. The company is also considering the purchase of at least one woodchip carrier ship