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Australia pellet plant to reopen

                                                                        Australian department of food and agriculture

Five years after Plantation Energy Albany made its last pellet shipment to an overseas customer and subsequently

shut down, the facility will reopen, according to consulting company Argonaut.

The 250,000 metric ton-per-year plant is located in Albany, a port city in Western Australia. When the plant closed

in 2012, the company cited unfavorable economic conditions relative to U.S. competitors. However, with the lower

Australian dollar, increased demand for renewable energy worldwide and clarity of forestry ownership in the Albany

region, the plant will be viable and profitable again, according to Argonaut.

The plant has been in care-and-maintenance mode since it shut down. Renewable Heat & Power, owner of Plantation

Energy, will continue to work with Argonaut to recommission the facility, after nearly three years of working to do so,

which included its purchase back from a private equity group.

RHP’s funding partner is Engie Energy Management, formerly known as GDF Suez.  RHP will use $7 million in

convertible note funding to recommission the plant, which is expected to be complete by June, as well as investments

into capital requirements for the plant’s operations, including a ship loader and storage facility, and working capital

for the return to full operations, according to Argonaut.

Commercial production is expected in the third quarter of this year. When operating at capacity, the facility will

employ 30 people.

The Australian Department of Food and Agriculture website states that the reopened facility’s pellets, made from

plantation timber, will be shipped to Asian markets where they will be used for generating heat and electricity.

                                                                                                                                                                                 Source:Biomass Magazine

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