Westervelt developing Alabama pellet plant

By Lisa Gibson | May 10, 2011

The Westervelt Co. has chosen a 104-acre site near Aliceville, Ala., as the location for the first facility in its larger wood pellet production platform.

Initially, the pellet plant, developed by Westervelt operating unit Westervelt Renewable Energy LLC, will produce about 250,000 metric tons of pellets from southern yellow pine material, expandable to 500,000 metric tons per year. The pellets will be used domestically as well as exported to foreign markets. “The facility will convert 100 percent southern yellow pine along with sawmill residuals, subject to their availability,” said Robby Johnson, marketing manager for Westervelt. “The Westervelt Co. will be responsible for the supply of raw material to the facility which will consist of company-owned and third-party wood.”

The project site, in Alabama’s west-central Pickens County, is on the Tennessee-Tombigwee Waterway and is the former Huyck Felt Plant. It was purchased from the Industrial Development Board of Aliceville, according to Westervelt. “This site was selected because of its location on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and the existing utility infrastructure,” Johnson said. “The existing structure on the site will not be utilized and will be removed if the company elects to proceed with expansion of the facility at a later date.” Construction on the pellet mill is expected to start this year with product deliveries scheduled for early 2012.

The Westervelt Co. is a sustainable forest management conservation practices organization and is also constructing a 7-megawatt biomass power plant at its sawmill in nearby Hale County.