Alabama’s only major wood fuel pellet manufacturer has closed and may be filing for bankruptcy. Dixie Pellets, based in Selma, closed on September 1 when employees arriving for work were told to go home. According to a local news report, plant manager Bruce Gornto cited an “unforeseen financial issue” that arose, leaving the company without “the funds to continue to operate.”
Other local sources say the mill had a major contract with a European broker cancelled due to Dixie Pellets’ inability to fill it completely, drastically reducing cash flow. Some employees say they’ve been told the company is filing for bankruptcy. Local officials say the state’s “rapid response” employment team has already been called in to aid the company’s 70 workers for the unemployment transition.
Established in 2006 and started up in early 2008 at a former grain loading facility on the Alabama River near Selma, Dixie Pellets had been hampered by the ongoing forest products industry slowdown that has reduced availability of sawmill residuals. The mill was reportedly running at 70% of design capacity (520,000 metric tons annually) when featured in the debut issue of Wood Bioenergy earlier this year.Tags: Dixie Pellets