Business Briefs

By Biomass Staff | March 05, 2018

Babcock & Wilcox names new CEO
Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises Inc. has appointed Leslie C. Kass CEO, successor to Jim Ferland, and a member of the company’s board of directors.

Kass has more than 20 years of engineering, operational and site-level leadership experience with a number of energy and power companies, along with a strong background and acumen in working with the financial community, shareholders and potential investors. She has held a number of roles of increasing responsibility since joining B&W in 2013, most recently leading B&W’s industrial segment. Before joining B&W, Kass held a number of engineering and project management-related positions of increasing responsibility with Westinghouse, Entergy and Duke Energy.

Adams joins BTEC board
Maura Adams, program director for the Northern Forest Center, has been elected to the Biomass Thermal Energy Council board of directors. Adams will join the group of thermal biomass industry partners, advocates and stakeholders in advancing the sustainable use of wood and agricultural biomass for clean, efficient heat and combined heat and power. The Northern Forest Center stated it is thrilled for Adams as she joins the board, and added that her experience, expertise and determination will serve BTEC and its members well.

Pinnacle Renewable Holdings completes IPO in Canada
On Feb. 6, Canadian pellet producer Pinnacle Renewable Holdings Inc. announced the successful closing of its initial public offering (IPO) and secondary offering of its common shares. The common shares began trading Feb. 6 on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “PL.” The company announced plans to file for an IPO in December.

The offering included a treasury offering by Pinnacle and a secondary offering of common shares by certain existing shareholders at a price of $11.25 per common share. Pinnacle sold more than 6.22 million common shares for a total gross proceeds of approximately $70 million. The selling shareholders sold more than 7.11 million common shares for a gross total proceeds of approximately $80 million.

 Pinnacle currently operates six pellet facilities, located in the British Columbia cities of Armstrong, Williams Lake, Meadowbank/Hixon, Houston, Burns Lake, and Lavington. The company also has a port terminal and new production facilities under development in Entwistle, Alberta, and Smithers, British Columbia.

Duke Energy renews contract with biomass energy producer
Duke Energy has renewed a long-term power purchase agreement with a 50-MW biomass facility in North Carolina, continuing the company's pursuit to diversify its electricity mix with biomass and alternative energy.

Craven County Wood Energy in New Bern is a 24/7  baseload plant that supplies enough power annually to satisfy the energy needs of more than 30,000 homes. The facility uses mainly wood waste and poultry (turkey) waste to generate electricity. Throughout its 25 years of operation, the facility has been upgraded to use more poultry waste—going from 10 percent to 25 percent currently. It has plans to go as high as 30 percent.

Duke Energy will buy 100 percent of the energy and associated renewable energy certificates from the facility.

Enerkem raises largest financing round, adds new investors
Enerkem Inc., a waste-to-biofuels and chemicals producer, announced it has completed a C$280 million ($222.82 million) investment round—its largest to date. In addition to new investors BlackRock and Sinobioway, existing investors also participated in this financing.

Existing Enerkem investors include Rho Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures, Waste Management of Canada, Investissement Québec, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Cycle Capital, Fondaction, The Westly Group, and the National Bank of Canada.

BlackRock is a global leading investment management corporation, managing close to $6 trillion in assets on behalf of investors worldwide.

Sinobioway is a leading Chinese company engaged in the bioeconomy. This industrial group, affiliated with Peking University, primarily invests in bioenergy, bioenvironmental protection, biomedicine, bioagriculture, bioservice, biomanufacturing and biointelligence.

National Bank Financial Inc. and Scotia Capital Inc. served as financial advisors to Enerkem.

FutureMetrics, Prodesa form partnership
Pellet plant design/builder Prodesa and pellet industry consultant FutureMetrics are teaming up under a new partnership agreement. Under the agreement, FutureMetrics operations expert, John Swaan, will lead a team that trains the operators of new Prodesa pellet plants throughout the startup and commissioning phases of the project.

Prodesa’s world-class EPC offering, and track record of successful pellet mills designed and built in Europe, the U.S., and Asia, is well complimented by FutureMetrics’ operational expertise gained from Swaan’s decades of experience in producing wood pellets. That knowledge and wisdom will be applied to Prodesa’s state-of-the-art new pellet plants to ensure that the operators have the shortest learning curve possible to reach safe and stable operations while producing high-quality wood pellets.

NHWEC report shows modern wood heat delivers significant savings    
New data from New Hampshire Office of Strategic Initiatives Fuel Price Survey, dated Jan. 23, confirms wood pellets are 48 percent lower heat cost than No. 2 heating oil, and 121 percent lower heat cost than propane. This analysis considers energy content of fuel, moisture content of fuel, and average fuel utilization efficiency of modern boilers.

An average homeowner using 800 gallons of heating oil per year can save $734 on their heating bill by switching to wood pellet fuel. The same homeowner using 1,200 gallons of propane can save $2,398 by switching to wood pellets, according to Maura Adams, program director with the Northern Forest Center.

The NH Public Utilities Commission currently offers rebates on fully automated residential wood pellet boilers of 40 percent of the installed cost, up to $10,000. In addition, the NH Wood Energy Council provides detailed information on equipment suppliers and installers to streamline the process.

Construction begins at largest US on-farm dairy RNG project
Renewable Dairy Fuels, a business unit of AMP Americas, announced that construction is underway on the country’s largest on-farm anaerobic digester-to-vehicle fuel operation. Located in Fair Oaks, Indiana, the dairy project will be the company’s second biogas facility producing renewable natural gas from dairy waste for transportation fuel.

Amp Americas received the first dairy waste-to-vehicle fuel pathway certified by California's Air Resources Board (CARB) for its first RNG project at Fair Oaks Farms in northwest Indiana. The project was also awarded a Carbon Intensity score of -254.94 gCO2e/MJ, the lowest ever issued by CARB.

The new facility will be 50 percent larger than RDF’s operation at Fair Oaks Farms, and will be operational this summer. The site is located in Jasper County, Indiana, just a few miles from Fair Oaks Farms. Every day, three digesters located at three dairy farms will convert 950 tons of dairy waste from 16,000 head of milking cows into RNG, which will be injected into the NIPSCO pipeline.


BP Verenium Biofuels plant up for sale
The BP Verenium Biofuels plant in Jennings, Louisiana, is being offered for sale. The 1.4-MMgy demonstration-scale facility celebrated its grand opening in 2008, and was acquired by BP Biofuels North America in mid-2010.

On Jan. 30, Aaron Equipment Co., in conjunction with Reich Brothers and Phoenix Equipment Corp., announced it had acquired the BP Verenium Biofuels plant, including more than 40 acres of real estate and equipment. The group said it plans to first offer the plant in its entirety and then piecemeal to the buying public.

According to information released by Aaron Equipment, the liquidation sale began in January and will run through the end of the year. Among the equipment up for sale are 316 stainless steel fermenters, 316 stainless steel tanks, stainless steel reactors, shells, tubes, screw presses, decanter centrifuges and hydrolyzers, spiral and plant heat exchangers and an unused DAF system.