New Maine Pellet Plant Preparing For Opening

An Edgecomb man is branching out his forestry management operation. Erik Carlson, a licensed forester and certified logging professional for more than two decades, is busy setting up his new wood pellet plant in Boothbay for a mid-July opening. On June 6, he spent nearly 12 hours unloading three trailer truck loads of pellet-making equipment […]

An Edgecomb man is branching out his forestry management operation. Erik Carlson, a licensed forester and certified logging professional for more than two decades, is busy setting up his new wood pellet plant in Boothbay for a mid-July opening.

On June 6, he spent nearly 12 hours unloading three trailer truck loads of pellet-making equipment sent from Zengzhou, China. Carlson is hoping to produce 800 tons of wood pellets a year to finance his new venture. His interest in the industry was spurred by the generation-long Maine papermaking industry’s struggles. Carlson manages woodlots and sells low grade wood to Maine paper mills.

One of his largest customers has been Verso’s Androscoggin Mill in Jay. Verso closed its Bucksport mill in 2014, resulting in the mill’s diminished need for pulp. Maine’s paper mills have been the major market for pulp wood for generations. Carlson once described the low-grade wood as being “good for little else than for making pulp.”

But one day, Carlson discovered another market for pulp: pellet stove operators. “I saw on the bag they were manufactured in Canada, and I thought this is a great way to keep the the local forestry product alive, and, at the same time, create jobs,” he said.

As he began his search for wood pellet manufacturing equipment, he discovered the machinery he needed wasn’t available in North America. Carlson would need equipment manufactured in The People’s Republic of China. He contacted the Zhenghou Whirlston Machinery Company about purchasing equipment.

From the Boothbay Register: http://www.boothbayregister.com/article/new-pellet-plant-preparing-mid-july-opening/71538

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