Northeast Wood Products begins retrofit of third pellet plant

By Anna Simet | April 14, 2015

Northeast Wood Products has begun retrofitting its third pellet manufacturing plant, a Jasper, Tennessee, facility that will be capable of producing up to 125,000 tons of pellets annually.

NWP made the announcement on April 15, less than a year after the company made its first acquisition—Pennington Seed Co.’s 65,000-metric-ton pellet plant in Peebles, Ohio, and shortly thereafter, its 65,000-metric-ton-per-year pellet plant in Ligonier, Indiana. NWP also purchased some equipment and assets at Pennington’s Kenbridge, Virginia, facility.

The Jasper plant is scheduled to be operational in November. Machinery purchased late last year is on site, and NWP plants to install a duplicate production line later on in the construction phase.

 “With Jasper being on the Tennessee River and having a forty-rail car siding, we now have easy access to the Gulf, East Coast ports and points beyond,” said NWP President Guy Mozzicato. “I’m looking forward to the near future when we have additional announcements of our global development.”

NWP reports that its annual production volume is expected to be 450,000 tons when the Jasper plant comes online, a calculation which takes into account available output of the company’s three factories, as well as aggregation of premium product from U.S. manufacturers.

“We’re well on our way to meet our five-year goal of 1.5 million tons of annual capacity,” Mozzicato said. “The market demand for quality product is evident, and we’re working to meet those needs.”

In a previous interview with Biomass Magazine, Mozzicato said NWP’s plan is to focus on domestic and international markets, particularly the European heating market, and that the company decided to enter the U.S. pellet industry after it recognized the sector as being largely fragmented with an opportunity for consolidation.

NWP’s hardwood/softwood blend pellets are sold under the ThermaGlo brand.