Wood pellet facility to create up to 100 new jobs and more than $100 million in capital investment

Gov. Bobby Jindal joined Point Bio Energy LLC CEO Bill New, Port of Greater Baton Rouge Executive Director Jay Hardman, Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain and Baton Rouge Area Chamber President Adam Knapp to announce Point Bio Energy will locate a new manufacturing facility at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge. The new facility will produce wood pellets for fuel generation, creating up to 100 new direct jobs and 273 new indirect jobs, and representing more than $100 million in capital investment. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will also generate $12.9 million in new, state tax revenue and $9.6 million in new, local tax revenue over the next 10 years. “After conducting a national search, Point Bio Energy selected Louisiana as the site for their new manufacturing facility, which will continue our strong economic momentum and, more importantly, create job opportunities for our people so they can pursue their dreams right here at home,” said Gov. Jindal. “Point Bio Energy’s facility will produce a value-added, environmentally friendly product, and this announcement is an excellent example of a traditional Louisiana industry showing an ability to adapt and remain competitive in today’s marketplace.”“Point Bio Energy is extremely proud to be developing its operations in the Capital Region,” said New. “The wood pellet production sector is seeing unprecedented levels of growth, and our facility positions the port, the region and the state to be a major benefactor in reaping the benefits of that growth. We want to thank everyone who made this a reality, especially BRAC, the port and the surrounding community.“Construction will begin in the summer of 2010, with product deliveries scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2011. Point Bio estimates the plant will produce 450,000 metric tons of wood pellets per year. The wood pellet industry has experienced significant growth recently due to a push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to Point Bio, the lumber-based fuel is a more environmentally friendly alternative to coal and has both industrial and residential applications.“Our region has a long history of strength in the wood-products sector, and Point Bio Energy represents an exciting opportunity by targeting foreign markets with renewable fuel supplies,” said Knapp. “The company selected the Baton Rouge area after a national location search, and we applaud their progress and decision today to invest and create jobs in our region. Point Bio will have a significant impact through the positive direct and indirect investments that will ripple through the economy.“LED worked with its state and local partners to help secure this project. Point Bio Energy expects to make use of the Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.In addition to state and local recruitment efforts, the Port of Greater Baton Rouge was selected due to its strategic advantages. The port has the unique position of being located within a sustainable forest management area with an ample amount of suitable timber acreage, providing Point Bio an opportunity to transport wood supplies to its facility at a lower price point than its competitors.“This is one of the biggest projects for the port in recent years, and the first green industry to locate within our facilities,” said Hardman. “It is an innovative project that will provide a tremendous benefit to the forest products industry, which is so important to our state’s economy, and we like the fact that they will be drawing from a sustainable energy source.”