Georgia port will be expanded to facilitate pellet exports

By Lisa Gibson | October 31, 2011

Responding to growing international demand for wood pellets in energy markets, the Georgia Ports Authority will expand its East River Terminal at the Port of Brunswick in Georgia, deepening three berths and upgrading dock handling infrastructure.

The first phase of the expansion will enable the terminal to handle up to 1 million tons of wood pellets and chips annually, according to the Georgia Ports Authority. While GPA owns Brunswick port, it is operated by Logistec Corp., which will invest about $5 million in the expansion. GPA also owns a deepwater port in Savannah.

“We welcome this renewed partnership with Logistec and look forward to enhanced customer service at East River Terminal,” said Curtis J. Foltz, GPA’s executive director. “The significant expansion and installation of new infrastructure at East River Terminal will accommodate Georgia’s export for biomass fuels and create jobs throughout Georgia’s transportation, logistics and forest industries.”

East River Terminal is near customers' manufacturing facilities in the heart of Georgia's timber land. Pellets are easily and competitively transported to the terminal and stored before Logistec loads the cargo into vessels bound for biomass power plant utility companies in the U.K., Scandinavia and elsewhere within the European Union, according to GPA.

“There will be further investment in East River Terminal and its handling facility as the market for biomass fuels grows,” Foltz said. The current project is scheduled to be completed in January.

The Southeast U.S. represents a significant opportunity for wood pellet exports to supply growing demand in Europe because of its port infrastructure and woody biomass supply. Biomass Power & Thermal’s Southeast Biomass Conference & Trade Show this week in Atlanta will explore those opportunities, among other regional topics. For more information on the event, click here.