You might remember a blog that we posted in March documenting the official groundbreaking ceremony of a new-to-Georgia German business, Georgia Biomass LLC, a subsidiary of RWE Innogy, which specializes in producing high energy wood pellets in Waycross, GA. Just last week, the GACC South had the pleasure to host a “Breakfast with…” networking event with Michael Eissing, who deals with RWE Innogy’s international project management, and Thomas Wiedenhöfer, the CTO of Georgia Biomass LLC.
Over breakfast and good company, the attendees were able to learn the basics as well as the newest “happenings” within RWE. The presentation explained the technical specifications and the supply chain of the RWE facility. Engaging the audience into an active Q&A session, the speakers gave details about the company’s progress since its groundbreaking ceremony earlier this year and some plans for its future. Announcing their “ahead of schedule” status, they plan to start production sometime in the first half of next year.
If you find yourself asking, “What exactly is a wood pellet…?” you probably aren’t alone. After talking with Carsten Jacobi, project coordinator for renewable energies at the GACC South who helped organize the networking event, he offered me a simple explanation as to their purpose.
“You can burn various fuels, such as wood or coal to produce energy. Burning wood usually doesn’t produce as much energy as burning coal, but it produces less emissions then coal and is therefore better for the environment.
Wood pellets are chunks of compressed wood that look like cat food – and they are actually produced by the same machinery —since they have a higher energy density than regular wood, they burn longer but release less emissions than pure coal alone. The project is expected to save up to one million tons of CO2 per year.”
That said, this company looks to be on the right path. We here at the GACC South are happy to welcome them into the Southeast!