Major Australian pellet plant closes its doors

Friday 27 Jan 2012

Industry in the Great Southern will be dealt a blow when Plantation Energy’s biomass fuel pellet facility closes reports the Albany Advertiser this week. After nearly two years of performing below expectations, the WA Albany-based export company, which set out to produce wood pellets from non-commercial plantations, is expected to close today.

Plantation Energy Australia chief executive Kevin Heydt said the company fell well short of achieving its projected 250,000 tonnes of exported biomass pellets each year since it began operating in 2010. He blamed this on the cost of producing the pellets, which was inconsistent with their international sale price. The operation proved to be uneconomic. Suitable wood fibre from the region from the forestry industry was proving more difficult for the company. This was also coupled with a high exchange rate with their trading partners.

Twenty staff will lose their jobs but the company said that facility could reopen at some later date if the economic climate becomes more favourable. Source: Albany Advertiser

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