Mississippi tree farmers look forward to new biomass facilities in the state providing a new market for wood, according to an article published Saturday in the Clarion-Ledger.
The Jackson, Miss.-based paper reported that the state's future as a biomass and biofuels hub was one of the topics discussed at a forestry summit at the Old Capitol Museum hosted by Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant.
The current nationwide recession has dramatically lowered demand for Mississippi lumber, prompting closings of plants and mills across the state.
Those closings have led to a plentiful supply of timber statewide, helping spur plans for biomass energy plants to go up across Mississippi in the next few years.
National Clean Fuels is partnering with the Center for the Environment, Commerce and Energy (The Center) to build a biomass-to-electricity (BTE) plant in Port Gibson, Miss. Plans call for the new Port Gibson plant to generate electricity by gasifying sawdust and woodchips to power a turbine.
Wayne Tucker, who heads the Mississippi Institute for Forest Inventory, told the Clarion-Ledger that the state is growing more trees than its harvesting leading to ample local supply for biomass plants.
National Clean Fuels President Maurice Stone announced the completion last week of a second productive scoping trip to Port Gibson. NACF inked a letter of intent with the City of Port Gibson in September to devise plans for biomass and solar-energy production in and around the municipality as well as other potential means of green energy production.
The Center, which signed an option agreement with NACF earlier on Nov., will assist in the planning and implementation of the project.