ecoFUELS plans pellet facility for Portsmouth, Va., port

By Sue Retka Schill | July 22, 2013

A new wood pellet port storage facility is being planned at the deepwater Portsmouth Marine Terminal in Portsmouth, Va. The developer, ecoFUELS Pellet Storage LLC is conducting a nonbinding offering for capacity, soliciting interest in the facility through Sept. 16.

“We will review the total interest received and determine the optimal storage capacity to build,” said Dick Robinson, managing director. “In the event that we receive interest in excess of phase 1 (two 50,000 metric ton domes) we have the capacity to add domes to meet the demand.”

A wholly owned subsidiary of ecoFUELS LLC, ecoFuels Pellet Storage proposes to develop, construct and operate a wood pellet port storage facility consisting of two or more 50,000 metric-ton storage domes that will provide annual throughput of 1.5 to 2 million tons on a comingled basis. “The ideal storage would be comingled to maximize throughput capacity of each dome,” Robinson said. “Comingled storage can be managed easily through sampling all shipments received and delivered. Segregated capacity will obviously be more expensive.”

In addition to taking long-term bids, expected to be as long as 10 years to match utility off-take agreements, Robinson said the company will evaluate all bids, “both short- and long-term and prioritize each based on overall value. We expect that we can offer some short-term spot transactions.”

Located at the off ramp of major interstate highways, the facility will be convenient for truck deliveries in addition to accommodating rail service via the CSX, Norfolk Southern and the Norfolk and Portmouth Belt Line. The facility is being designed for the efficient loading of panamax vessels which carry between 55,000 and 65,000 metric tons.   

The company has a long-term, 20-year lease on the port site, Robinson said. Permits are near completion and the company anticipates construction will begin in the third quarter. The expected in-service date to be in the fourth quarter of next year.

Parent company ecoFUELS LLC is a partnership between MultiFuels LP and Capital Management International. Multifuels LP is a Houston, Texas- based developer and operator of energy infrastructure, primarily in the gas storage, midstream and renewables areas. Capital Management International is a Virginia-based diversified investment vehicle focused on renewable energy.