Thermogen switches technology providers for Maine plant

By Staff | June 30, 2014

Thermogen Industries, an entity of Cate Street Capital that is developing a black pellet manufacturing facility in Millinocket, Maine, announced a switch in technology providers in March. The facility previously planned to use Scotland-based Rotawave’s microwave torrefaction technology, but will now employ Zilkha Biomass Energy’s steam-exploded Zilkha Black Pellet process.

Thermogen spokesmen Scott Tranchemontagne said that the Zilkha technology will allow the company to ramp up production faster. “With Rotawave, we were only be able to start production at 100,000 metric tons per year, and with Zilkha, we’ll produce essentially the exact same product, but triple our production from the get-go,” he said.

In April, the Finance Authority of Maine approved a $16 million taxable bond for the project, reducing its initial commitment approved in October by $9 million. Thermogen Project Manager Damon Frecker said Thermogen is disappointed with FAME’s decision to reduce the loan guarantee, but indicated the company is still pressing forward.