Adel Moves Forward On Wood Pellet Plant

A proposed 450,000 metric tons per year industrial wood pellet mill to be built in Adel, Ga. is gaining steam. On September 21 the Adel City Council voted to annex a 171 acre industrial park area in Cook County into the city of Adel and to re-zone the property from agricultural to heavy-industry. Meanwhile the wood pellet plant project owner, Renewable Biomass Group, has applied for air construction permitting for the plant, which would export its wood pellets to overseas markets as fuel for electricity generation.

The company hopes to commence construction in the fourth quarter of this year with commercial production beginning in the first quarter of 2022. It plans to operate 11 pelletizers, one dryer, an RCO and RTO for air emissions control.

The Renewable Biomass Group web site indicates the company wants to develop 2 million metric tons per year of industrial wood pellets projects over a seven-year period.

The RBG web site also shows Craig Whitlock as CEO with experience in international business development; Jeremy Ham as CFO with experience in capital raising; and Patrick Madigan as general manager and director.

Madigan was head of Ireland electricity producer Bord na Mona’s bioenergy division when that company announced its intention to build an industrial wood pellet plant in Georgia in 2017. The company ultimately backed away from the project. Bord na Mona has traditionally used sod peat for electricity generation, but is turning away from peat in favor of wood and other biomass fuel while also delving heavily into wind-based energy.

At an earlier city council hearing the executive director of the Cook County Economic Development Commission, Lisa Collins, spoke in favor of the project, calling it “monumental for Adel.”

Dogwood Alliance, the extremist Southern-based environmental group, has taken an aggressive stand against the plant. Dogwood Alliance promotes only solar and wind renewable energy while citing environmental dangers of wood harvesting.

The RBG air permit application indicates the plant will procure 1.1 million tons of softwood annually.

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