Mississippi is Set to Turn Wood Waste Products into Sources of Biomass Energy
According to the Journal of South Mississipi Business, the state’s logging industry is set to conquer a new market: biofuel production. Green Circle Bio Energy, Inc. recently announced plans to build a multi-million dollar wood pellet manufacturing plant in George County, with construction expected to start this fall. Once completed, the plant will provide about a hundred new jobs for the county.
This development isn’t at all surprising, considering that Mississippi has always been renowned for its timber industry. However, the proposed wood pellet facility may be a manifestation of the current industry shift toward reliable and sustainable biomass energy sources. Such a project provides the perfect example of the kinds of socially responsible investment opportunities companies like Emerald Knight Consultants typically market to interested investors.
There is, indeed, a lot of money to be made from the production of wood pellets, especially now that China, Japan, and South Korea have expressed interest in importing these products. Japan, in particular, solely depends on wood pellet imports-about 207,000 metric tonnes, in fact-to replace at least one percent of its total coal consumption with more eco-friendly energy sources. Meanwhile, the new plant in Mississippi is expected to export pellets throughout Western Europe to provide a somewhat more eco-friendly fuel alternative to coal-powered power plants.
Wood pellets consist of compacted waste products gathered from sawdust, discarded tree trunks or tops, and residual waste from wood manufacturing processes. These organic pellets contain less than 10% moisture, and yield large amounts of energy when burned as fuel. According to the Mississippi Biomass Council, a wood pellet manufacturing plant can produce enough pellets to supply a 250-Megawatt power plant, with co-fired biomass comprising 5 percent of total fuel usage.
Interestingly, Mississippi isn’t the only state that’s set to gain from the market potential of wood pellets. Louisiana, Georgia, and Florida also have plans in place to set up pellet manufacturing plants-a clear indication that competition in this fledgling market is picking up. Firms like Emerald Knight Consultants are quick to identify similarly promising investment opportunities in various parts of the globe.
Meanwhile, some scientists argue that wood pellets may have a limited impact at best on the energy sector as a whole; after all, it would take substantially increased pellet production levels to even meet a fraction of today’s fuel demands. In any case, funding for lucrative renewable energy investments is certainly a step in the right direction.