Biomass company starts construction near Russellville on second of three Arkansas plants

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 2,192 views 

Drax Group, a sustainable biomass production and supply company, has started construction on the second of three satellite pellet plants in Arkansas, the company announced Friday (Sept. 17).

The plant in Russellville will begin commercial operations in 2022, according to company officials. It is expected to create about 30 new jobs.

The three pellet plants will cost $40 million to build and are expected to produce approximately 120,000 metric tons of sustainable biomass pellets a year from sawmill residues, part of Drax’s plan to increase self-supply to its power station in the United Kingdom.

“The investment that Drax is making throughout Arkansas is proof that the state’s timber industry is poised for a bright future and is a great example of how a global economy works,” Arkansas Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said. “Through this partnership, these three Arkansas communities will experience further growth and opportunities, and Drax will be able to continue working toward its mission to provide renewable electricity for millions across the pond.”

The three plants are located near sawmills, which Drax officials say will place them near supply sources and reduce transportation costs of hauling raw materials a lengthy distance.

Earlier this year, Drax began construction at its first satellite pellet plant in Leola (Grant County) and commercial operations are expected to begin late this year. A third and final site has been identified, but not finalized yet.