Southeast Virginia could host two new pellet mills

By Lisa Gibson | March 29, 2011

Wood Fuel Developers LLC, an affiliate of Industrial TurnAround Corp. (ITAC), an engineering, design and construction management service, is developing two wood pellet facilities in southeast Virginia, having received multiple grants for both proposals.

The company announced its pellet mill plans for Greensville County in January of 2010, armed with more than $3.5 million in federal and state funds, and planning to invest $18.7 million itself, according to ITAC. The company reported that the project received $1 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, along with $2.3 million from the Greensville County Industrial Development Authority for construction of the plant and site improvements and infrastructure, $175,000 from the Governors Opportunity Fund and $175,000 from Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds.

And that’s not all. In January of this year, the office of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced a new $8.6 million pellet mill undertaking for Wood Fuel Developers in Sussex County, with another $185,000 in state funds from the Governor’s office and Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds. Wood Bioenergy US, a Forisk Consulting report, said the company will convert a former particleboard plant in the Sussex County town of Waverly into a pellet plant. 

In a January press release from the governor’s office, Wood Fuels Developers President and CEO Steve Gordon was quoted as saying the Sussex County location offered an existing facility that included site infrastructure, buildings, machinery and the purchase and installation of new equipment.

Gordon declined to release any information to Biomass Power & Thermal on either of the proposed facilities, however, saying they are both in the midst of contract negotiations.