N.C. firm to acquire biomass supply

By Luke Geiver | June 21, 2012

A North Carolina-based bioenergy management firm has issued a letter of intent to purchase a 40 percent stake in a Maine-based woody biomass supply company, an investment that will net North Carolina Natural Energy Inc. $984,000 per year for the next three years. Through the acquisition, NCNE will help Construction Management Institute of Belfast, Maine manage and distribute biomass sourced from contracts with forest owners in Florida and Maine.

The woody biomass currently controlled and sold by CMI totals $174 million, according to CMI, and after the ownership acquisition by NCNE, the Maine-based firm will earn a three year revenue from sales of the woody biomass estimated at $7.2 million with the remaining $2.9 million going to NCNE over three years. Official terms and conditions of the acquisition have not been released.

CMI’s scope of business covers a large array of markets, ranging from reconstruction programs in Haiti, to construction management in the U.S., and, multi-national product aggregation and wholesaling of biomass materials to be sold in the European markets.

In addition to the impending partnership with CMI, NCNE has another partnership agreement formed with Process Innovation, a specialty chemical company located in North Carolina. According to NCNE, the partnership was formed to develop and produce advanced biofuels at the 130,000 square foot facility operated by Process Innovation. The facility, according to Howard Virkler, owner of Process Innovation, has been operating and producing specialty chemicals for 50 years. The specialty chemical manufacturing facility has over five reactor vessels, the largest vessel roughly 5,000 gallons. According to the company, the facility has the capacity to process more that 200 million pounds of chemicals annually.