Business Briefs

By Anna Simet | August 03, 2017

Uzelac Industries hires Hobbs  
Uzelac Industries Inc., manufacturer of design-build rotary drying systems, has appointed Mike Hobbs vice president and general manager.

Hobbs began his career at Siemens, where he held engineering, project management, sales and management roles. He later served as general manager at Avanti Wind Systems. Before joining Uzelac, Hobbs served as operations manager at Rockwell Automation.

A Wisconsin native, Hobbs graduated with honors from the Milwaukee School of Engineering, earning a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology. He is a LEED-accredited professional and a registered professional engineer in the state of Wisconsin.

PFI Standards Program qualifies Maine Wood Pellets
The Pellet Fuels Institute recently announced the qualification of Maine Woods Pellet Co. of Athens, Maine, to the PFI Standards Program. The addition marks the 25th pellet manufacturer and 38th facility qualified for the third-party accreditation program, which provides specifications for residential and commercial-grade pellet fuel.

On their pellet bags, PFI Standards Program participants can display the PFI Quality Mark, which demonstrates to consumers that the product comes from a facility that submits its product to regular third-party audits by an independent accredited auditing agency and testing laboratory. Random audits are regularly performed at production facilities to ensure qualified companies are following a quality control program. Wood pellets are tested according to the program specifications, also on a monthly basis. By taking these steps, participants ensure that their pellet quality remains consistent.

Maine Woods Pellet Co. was qualified by accredited auditing agency PFS Corp.

SBP celebrates 100 certifications
The Sustainable Biomass Program announced that 100 organizations currently hold valid SBP certificates. The organizations have been certified in accordance with the SBP certification system, a unique certification system designed for woody biomass used in industrial, large-scale heat and power production.

 “The SBP certification system enables producers of woody biomass to demonstrate that they source the raw material responsibly and in compliance with the regulatory, including sustainability, requirements applicable to generators burning woody biomass to produce heat and/or power,” commented Carsten Huljus, SBP CEO. “Reaching 100 certifications is an important milestone for us. It firmly establishes SBP as an effective certification system for the biomass-to-energy sector.”

SBP Certificate Holders are either biomass producers, traders, or the end users of SBP-certified biomass, such as large-scale utilities producing heat and power. The geographic reach of the SBP system currently extends to 15 countries

World Bioenergy Association welcomes new executive director
The World Bioenergy Association has announced that Bharadwaj Kummamuru has taken over the role of executive director. Since 2014, Kummamuru has worked as project officer for WBA. He will succeed Karin Haara, who will continue her work in WBA as a senior advisor. “It is a great privilege having this opportunity to serve as the executive director of the World Bioenergy Association,” Kummamuru said. “Having been a part of the association for the past three and a half years, I am well aware of the various challenges and opportunities of the organization. As the leading global bioenergy association, we will continue our vision for promoting sustainable bioenergy worldwide and to create value for our members.”

Contract backs sixth DONG fossil fuel plant conversion
With a new 20-year agreement recently concluded between Novo Nordisk, Novozymes, Kalundborg Forsyning and DONG Energy, a sustainable alternative has been found to Denmark's largest coal-fired power station unit, enabling a complete phase-out of coal. The 20-year steam and district heating contract involves the conversion of Asnaes Power Station and connection of a new wood chip-fired plant to the power station's existing installations and systems. The conversion will begin this summer, and the power station is expected to be ready for wood chip-fired production by the end of 2019. It will bring the number of Denmark fossil fuel plants DONG Energy has converted to seven.

AFPA welcomes Pinnacle Renewable Energy as new member
The Alberta Forest Products Association announced that as of July 1, Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. has joined the association. Pinnacle is a manufacturer of wood pellets, with seven facilities in Alberta and British Columbia, and shipping capacity through the Port of Prince Rupert. The company’s new plant in Entwistle, Alberta, represents an $85 million investment in the province’s economy.

“I am very pleased that Pinnacle has chosen to join our Association,” said Paul Whittaker, president and CEO of AFPA. “Their investment in Alberta will help to diversify the economy and create jobs. Additionally, Pinnacle manufactures a sustainable product that makes use of residual materials and provides customers around the world with an environmentally friendly heating solution.”

Drax Biomass receives Lantern Award
Drax Biomass received the Lantern Award for its dedication and commitment to Louisiana communities. The Louisiana Economic Development launched the Lantern Award in 1979, to recognize businesses that have made a substantial contribution to the economic and civic development of their communities. It is a highly competitive process, and nominees must have the support of state officials and leading civic organizations. Winners are selected by Louisiana’s eight Regional Planning and Development Districts based upon manufacturing excellence, growth in the number of employees, expansion of their facilities, and their role within the community.

Drax Biomass began construction on its Morehouse BioEnergy facility in Bastrop, Louisiana, in early 2013. Since breaking ground, the Morehouse BioEnergy plant has become a major contributor to the region’s economy. The plant maintains almost 65 full-time employees and supports approximately 150 additional jobs across the forestry, hauling, and transportation sectors. Drax Biomass is also contributing to the revitalization of the local wood products sector, which has suffered in recent years from the closure of several large-scale paper mills.