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Following PFI to Florida

My first time at the Pellet Fuels Institute Annual Conference couldn’t have been better, unless of course I had found myself with a winning Florida lottery ticket in my pocket.
By Lisa Gibson | July 29, 2011

This past week has been busy and almost a blur but I must say, Ponte Vedra beach, Fla., is beautiful, even in the rain.

My first time at the Pellet Fuels Institute Annual Conference couldn’t have been better, unless of course I had found myself with a winning Florida lottery ticket in my pocket. But instead of cashing in for my millions, I gained valuable insight into the pellet industry through experienced experts and broadened my source database. The food was spectacular, too.

Not surprisingly, the final general session panel of the event focused on export markets, and Harold Arnold, president and CEO of Fram Renewable Fuels LLC, suggested his fellow pellet manufacturers hold on to their hats. “The industry will see wild growth over the next few years,” he said. “Expect the unexpected. For some, these changes will be good; for some, they’ll be bad, but either way, we’re in for a wild ride.” The pellet export market has been stronger than usual in 2011, he said, and demand is growing rapidly. Read more about Harold’s presentation and those of his fellow speakers here.           

So after learning about plant safety, updates to the PFI standards program, plant optimization and efficiency, and more, I hopped a plane (or three) back to Grand Forks and dove immediately back into the September issue of Biomass Power & Thermal, as well as compiling feature ideas for the October issue and the next edition of Pellet Mill Magazine, slated for release in November. We have a little more work on our plates planning for our upcoming Northeast and Southeast regional conferences and biopower map, with a new writer set to fill in for Associate Editor Anna Austin, who is expecting her first child in two weeks or less.

But with all that’s going on, I will not miss the opportunity to attend the North American Pellet Export Conference Sept. 7 through 9 in New Orleans. I’ve never been there and am excited to take in the atmosphere of Upper Bourbon Street. In an area so well-known for its bars and night life, I hope I can find an establishment that serves water...

 

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