News | June 2012

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German Pellets Takes Over Austrian Producer

German Pellets GmbH, based in Wismar, Germany, has taken over the Austrian company Glechner, with headquarters in Mattighofen. The acquisition includes three production sites, the brand “Hot’ts Holzpellets” and the company’s direct sales division for wood pellets.

The Glechner Group is one of Austria’s leading wood pellet manufacturers and distributors. “The acquisition of Hot’ts Holzpellets, one of Austria’s wood pellet pioneers as well as a profitable company with an outstanding position in the end-consumer market, is an excellent opportunity for us,” says Peter Leibold, managing partner of German Pellets GmbH.

The Glechner Group will be operated as an independent company within the German Pellets Group. Gerhard and Bernhard Glechner will remain managing directors. The three Glechner production sites, in Mattighofen, Oberweis/Gmunden (both in Austria) and Pfarrkirchen (Bavaria), have a combined annual capacity of 100,000 tonnes.

Formerly a milling operation, the Glechner Group has been producing and marketing wood pellets since 1996, making it one of the pioneers of the Central European wood pellet industry. German Pellets is the largest pellet manufacturer in Europe.

Zilkha Begins Conversion Of Former Dixie Pellets

Zilkha Biomass expects its first large-scale commercial pellet plant to be operational by late 2013. Zilkha acquired a 500,000 ton/year wood pellet plant in bankruptcy (Dixie Pellets) near Selma, Ala. two years ago. Zilkha plans to adapt the plant to produce 275,000 t/yr of “Zilkha Black” pellets, a proprietary waterproof biomass pellet that is transportable like coal.

The company is looking to establish several plants of similiar capacity, including projects which would export through Mobile, Ala. and also projects in British Columbia, Canada.

Zilkha Black pellets are not torrefied, according to the company, but are pre-processed according to a technology acquired by the company a few years ago.

The company’s first commercial black pellet plant is located in Crockett, Texas. The plant is rated at 40,000 metric tons of pellets per year and started production in October 2010 to supply test volume to potential customers, including utilities in Europe.

Mt. Poso Plant Completes Conversion

Macpherson Energy Co. and DTE Energy Services (DTEES) announced that Kern County’s Mt. Poso cogeneration plant is completely converted to run 100% biomass fuel instead of coal, and is successfully delivering its full capacity of 44 MW of clean, renewable energy to the California grid.

The plants operates on 100% woody biomass fuel and produces electricity which is transmitted to Pacific Gas & Electric under a long-term contract. The plant, which began operations as a coal-fired cogeneration facility in 1989, was retooled in 2011 to utilize woody biomass fuel by its new ownership, the Mt. Poso Cogeneration Co., LLC (MPCC), a partnership of Macpherson Energy and DTE Energy Services. The conversion was finished in February 2012. Steam produced by the plant is used in the MPCC owned adjacent oil field. The plant uses water from the oil field operations for producing steam and cooling. Excess water is used for nearby cattle grazing or reinjected into the ­oilfield.

Biomass as used for electrical generation at the Mt. Poso facility comes from local agricultural sources in the form of orchard removals, orchard prunings, shells, and pits; and urban waste wood including tree trimmings, woody construction waste, pallets, and clean demolition wood from county and municipalities’ recycling programs.

LowCountry Plans Plant Expansion

LowCountry Biomass plans to nearly double production capacity to 180,000 tonnes annually at its wood pellet plant in Ridgeland, SC.

The company has entered into an agreement with Dieffenbacher USA, Inc. whereas Dieffenbacher will provide the complete design, equipment supply and installation of the expansion. This includes the heat energy system, dryer, ClassiSizer raw materials size reduction machine and new 15 ton per hour Pellet Press, which can be expanded to 20 tons per hour. Dieffenbacher Services LLC will also be doing the complete equipment installation.

The LowCountry Biomass plant currently operates three pellet machines. Production is shipped abroad from the Port of Savannah.

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