With the approval Tuesday of plans for a new export terminal at Morehead City, North Carolina now has two manufacturers cranking up plans to start shipping wood pellets from both state ports to serve electric utilities in Europe.
The Council of State approved a 20-year contract for Raleigh-based WoodFuels North Carolina to build a $25 million terminal that will export 600,000 tons of pellets a year from Morehead City, starting in late 2014.
The nation’s biggest pellet-maker, Maryland-based Enviva LP, already is shipping 865,000 tons a year from two mills in northeastern North Carolina, through the port at Chesapeake, Va. In a separate deal involving a $40 million terminal at North Carolina’s port in Wilmington, Enviva plans to begin exporting 1 million tons a year by 2015 from two pellet mills to be built in southeastern North Carolina. ...
Environmental policies in Europe have created a booming market for wood pellets from forests across the southeastern United States. In an effort to reduce carbon emissions that contribute to global warming, electric utilities are starting to burn imported wood pellets in their boilers in place of coal.
Forestry researchers at N.C. State University say that U.S. exports of pellets will grow from 3 million tons a year in 2009 to 10 million tons by 2015. That could prove to be a conservative forecast. Britain expects its biomass consumption, 3 million tons last year, to grow tenfold over the next five years. ...
The state Department of Transportation said the new Morehead City agreement will generate at least 150 direct and indirect jobs and give the state $840,000 a year to invest in more port improvements.
Here is the link to a post looking at the first wood pellet manufacturer. Using the $5/ton number, 600,000 tons of pellets will generate $3 million in revenue. That's $20,000 per job.
And like the first one, this article contains the back and forth on environmental impacts:
The pellets market is rooted in a climate-friendly, carbon-neutral rationale. The idea is that carbon emitted from burning pellets eventually will be recaptured from the atmosphere by new trees grown to replace the trees from which the pellets were made.
But environmental groups say European climate policies and pellet industry practices are bad for the climate and bad for sensitive wetland forests. They warn that woodland owners will resort to industrial-style clear-cutting to satisfy Europe’s voracious appetite for pellets, and they offer carbon calculations that portray pellets as even “dirtier than coal.”
Dirtier than coal? Isn't that like saying something is raunchier than Miley Cyrus? Poor Miley. Did anyone over 40, other than me, enjoy the Hannah Montana show? It reminded me of I Love Lucy, with Miley in the Lucille Ball role ... crazy slapstick situations, etc.
I thought about using "Dumber than the U.S. Congress?" in the above paragraph, but that one is too easy and brings back no pleasant family time memories.