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Forest Products Industry

Hedge Funds Are Selling PG&E Corporation (PCG)

Forest Products IIII - Fr, 29/05/2020 - 17:44

The latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey is again at the forefront when it comes to making use of this gold mine of data. Insider Monkey finished processing 821 13F filings submitted by hedge funds and prominent investors. These filings show these funds' portfolio positions as of March 31st, 2020. […]

Okta, Inc. (OKTA): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock?

Forest Products IIII - Fr, 29/05/2020 - 17:33

The latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey is again at the forefront when it comes to making use of this gold mine of data. Insider Monkey finished processing 821 13F filings submitted by hedge funds and prominent investors. These filings show these funds' portfolio positions as of March 31st, 2020. […]

Hedge Funds Dumped Snap Inc. (SNAP) During The Crash

Forest Products IIII - Fr, 29/05/2020 - 17:32

The financial regulations require hedge funds and wealthy investors that exceeded the $100 million equity holdings threshold to file a report that shows their positions at the end of every quarter. Even though it isn't the intention, these filings to a certain extent level the playing field for ordinary investors. The latest round of 13F […]

Hedge Funds Are Warming Up To Schlumberger Limited. (SLB)

Forest Products IIII - Fr, 29/05/2020 - 17:25

In this article you are going to find out whether hedge funds think Schlumberger Limited. (NYSE:SLB) is a good investment right now. We like to check what the smart money thinks first before doing extensive research on a given stock. Although there have been several high profile failed hedge fund picks, the consensus picks among […]

Should You Buy U.S. Bancorp (USB)?

Forest Products IIII - Fr, 29/05/2020 - 17:17

The latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey is again at the forefront when it comes to making use of this gold mine of data. Insider Monkey finished processing 821 13F filings submitted by hedge funds and prominent investors. These filings show these funds' portfolio positions as of March 31st, 2020. […]

Do Hedge Funds Love MGM Resorts International (MGM)?

Forest Products IIII - Fr, 29/05/2020 - 17:16

The latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey is again at the forefront when it comes to making use of this gold mine of data. Insider Monkey finished processing 821 13F filings submitted by hedge funds and prominent investors. These filings show these funds' portfolio positions as of March 31st, 2020. […]

Hedge Funds Soured On Broadcom Inc (AVGO)

Forest Products IIII - Fr, 29/05/2020 - 17:07

We at Insider Monkey have gone over 821 13F filings that hedge funds and prominent investors are required to file by the SEC The 13F filings show the funds' and investors' portfolio positions as of March 31st, near the height of the coronavirus market crash. In this article, we look at what those funds think […]

MedMen Enterprises Inc. (CSE:MMEN) Just Reported And Analysts Have Been Cutting Their Estimates

Forest Products IIII - Fr, 29/05/2020 - 16:33

MedMen Enterprises Inc. (CSE:MMEN) just released its latest quarterly report and things are not looking great...

Traders Sift Through Virtual Cancer Meeting’s Winners and Losers

Forest Products IIII - Fr, 29/05/2020 - 16:32

(Bloomberg) -- Biotechnology stocks saw broad swings Friday morning as investors worked their way through a deluge of data from cancer drug developers presenting at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s virtual annual meeting.Wall Street was quick to crown small-caps Adaptimmune Therapeutics Plc and Trillium Therapeutics Inc. as well as heavyweight AstraZeneca Plc among the early winners with shares rallying on the back of their respective updates. On the flip side, uninspiring results from Arvinas Inc.’s prostate cancer study and Aveo Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s kidney cancer trial drove investors to punish shares.Here’s a breakdown of some of ASCO’s biggest winners and losers:Adaptimmune TherapeuticsThe small developer of cell therapies more than doubled in Friday’s session after announcing updated early-stage results from a handful of trials in a range of cancer types. The company said its treatments drove responses in esophagogastric junction, lung, and head and neck cancer patients. Adaptimmune plans to start a mid-stage study of its therapy in esophagogastric junction cancer patients in the first half of next year.Trillium TherapeuticsThe hedge fund darling jumped as much as 21% after updated results for its early-stage study of TTI-622 showed a second patient responded to treatment with their cancer shrinking, providing further evidence that the drug could help patients with lymphoma that has progressed after trying previous therapies.Ladenburg Thalmann analyst Wangzhi Li wrote that the update showcased “excellent safety and surprising monotherapy activity” in the second patient. The 81-year-old patient’s response was classified as a partial response, but looked like it was almost a complete recovery with nearly 100% of the tumor reduced after eight weeks of follow-up.AstraZenecaShares of the pharmaceutical giant rallied as much as 3.4% in London after updates from a trio of key cancer drugs. The U.K. drugmaker said its blockbuster drug Tagrisso cut the risk of lung cancer death while studies of Imfinzi and Enhertu showed meaningful benefits for patients with small-cell lung cancer and gastric cancer.Autolus TherapeuticsAutolus was among the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index’s top performers Friday after announcing new data on its CAR-T cell therapy in patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma. The updated results showed the medicine was well tolerated with no patients experiencing dose-limiting toxicity, and there were no treatment-related deaths.Aveo PharmaceuticalsAveo tumbled as much as 23%, the worst drop since early November, after late-stage results for its kidney cancer study showed its medicine didn’t extend lives longer than Bayer’s Nexavar. Aveo erased some of its loss after Baird raised its price target to a Street-high $24 from $15, saying the analysis removed an overhang on shares.ArvinasThe New Haven, Connecticut-based biopharma company sank 18% to make it the Nasdaq Biotech Index’s worst performer after updated results from its early-stage trial of ARV-110 in prostate cancer failed to excite investors. Just two of the 20 patients in the trial saw their PSA levels decline by 50% or more, missing many analyst expectations.MacroGenicsMacroGenics fell as much as 16% after releasing additional data for a trio of cancer drugs. Wall Street has been closely watching early data on MGD013 and MGC018 after bullish commentary from its management team earlier this month caused shares to triple.Allogene TherapeuticsShares of Allogene were little changed, erasing an initial drop, after updated results for its off-the-shelf CAR-T therapy showed a decline in patient benefit compared to an initial peek earlier this month. Twelve of 19 patients with blood cancer have responded to Allogene’s ALLO-501 in the “Alpha” study, including seven that had a complete response, the company said.Analysts had already started to debate whether the early-stage drug data that spurred Allogene to recored highs and a more than $6 billion valuation was warranted.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Exclusive: Brazil's Embraer draws foreign interest after Boeing rift - sources

Forest Products IIII - Fr, 29/05/2020 - 16:26

Aircraft makers are circling Brazil's Embraer weeks after Boeing ditched plans for a historic commercial aviation tie-up, people familiar with the matter said. Boeing axed plans to buy 80% of Embraer's commercial unit in April, ending a planned move into regional jets that mirrored rival Airbus' purchase in 2018 of a competing model developed by Canada's Bombardier. China's state-owned COMAC planemaker has voiced informal interest in co-operation with the world's third-largest jetmaker, two of the people said.

U.S., China tensions rise, as more American companies 'risk map their strategies in Hong Kong'

Forest Products IIII - Fr, 29/05/2020 - 16:22

President Donald Trump is expected to make an announcement regarding relations between the U.S. and China on Friday. Arthur Dong, Georgetown University Professor, joins Yahoo Finance's Alexis Christoforous and Brian Sozzi to discuss that more.

Virus Sparks Round-the-Clock Rush to Fill U.S. Gold Vaults

Forest Products IIII - Fr, 29/05/2020 - 16:07

(Bloomberg) -- The scramble to jump on one of the hottest gold trades in years -- by shipping bullion to New York -- has sparked what may be one of the largest ever physical transfers of the metal.“The flows into New York are unprecedented,” said Allan Finn, global commodities director at logistics and security provider Malca-Amit. His company’s teams in New York have been working 24 hours a day to cope with demand while navigating lockdowns, flight disruptions and social distancing.Gold flooded into the U.S. in recent months as traders rushed to profit from an arbitrage caused by dislocations in the market triggered by the pandemic. Since late March, some 550 tons of gold -- worth $30 billion at today’s price and roughly equal to global mine output in the period -- have been added to Comex warehouse stockpiles. Hundreds of tons of that was imported.While tens of billions of dollars of gold change hands every day in financial markets, a much smaller amount tends to physically move between vaults in trading hubs like London, Zurich and New York.But that started to change as the Covid-19 crisis affected the supply chain. When planes were grounded and Swiss refineries closed in late March, traders were worried they wouldn’t be able to get gold to New York in time to deliver against futures contracts. That caused futures, which typically trade in lockstep with the London spot price, to soar to a premium of as much as $70 an ounce.That created an opportunity for enterprising traders: buy gold somewhere in the world at the spot price, sell futures, and benefit from the difference by shipping the metal to New York.The scale of the trade has been revealed in exchange reports, import and export data and comments from some of the leading precious metals shipping and vaulting companies. On Thursday, traders declared their intent to deliver 2.8 million ounces of gold against the June Comex contract, the largest daily delivery notice in bourse data going back to 1994.Swiss gold exports to the U.S. have surged, reaching 111.7 tons in April, the highest on record. American import data for April isn’t yet available, but already in March gold imports topped $3 billion, according to the Census Bureau, the highest in at least a decade. Refineries as far away as Australia have ramped up output of kilobars -- the form typically delivered on the Comex -- to ship to New York.For Brink’s Ltd. Managing Director Mark Woolley, the spike in demand to ship gold to New York has been unlike anything he’s seen in 20 years in the market.“The amount of metal that we’ve successfully moved into New York is pretty significant,” he said Thursday on a webinar hosted by the London Bullion Market Association. “It’s probably not far off the total amount of metal that’s been mined in this period.”CME Group Inc., which owns Comex, responded to the recent market dislocation by introducing a new contract allowing the delivery of 400-ounce bars, the type traded in London. Still, “other changes need to be at least considered,” according to LBMA Chairman Paul Fisher.The enormous movement of gold has been a boon for logistics companies, but also a challenge. Not only have passenger flights -- on which shipments are typically transported -- been grounded, but New York City, where many Comex warehouses are located, has also been a hotspot for the virus.To deal with flows, Loomis International U.K. opened up additional vault capacity. Malca-Amit considered using airports in Boston and Philadelphia, but hasn’t needed to yet, Finn said.While large volumes and virus-related restrictions at vaults and airports caused some delivery delays, much of the spike in the premium for futures contracts in March -- which left some banks nursing sizable losses -- was driven by perception rather than reality, Finn said.“My own personal opinion is that any assessment on the inability to get gold in was ill-informed at the time and was made on assumptions rather than fact,” he said.Still, the bonanza for precious metals shippers may last a while. Large deliveries have seen June Comex futures drop to a discount to spot prices this week, but later dated futures are still at a premium. And as investor interest in other precious metals picked up, futures for silver and platinum have also traded at premiums to spot.“The guys in New York have done a great job,” said Brian Hayward, head of Loomis International U.K. “We’re seeing a lot of silver head that way right now.”(Updates with LBMA chairman’s comment below second chart. An earlier version corrected the Y axis in the first chart)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

US$15.83: That's What Analysts Think Plantronics, Inc. (NYSE:PLT) Is Worth After Its Latest Results

Forest Products IIII - Fr, 29/05/2020 - 16:03

It's been a sad week for Plantronics, Inc. (NYSE:PLT), who've watched their investment drop 11% to US$12.53 in the...

Uber launches hourly ride booking option in some U.S. cities

Forest Products IIII - Fr, 29/05/2020 - 15:07

The option, which is already available in a handful of cities in Australia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, will cost $50 per hour. Fares for regular Uber rides are generally based on the level of demand and the trip distance. Uber said it decided to expand the hourly feature to the U.S. after riders requested an option for extended trips during the pandemic to avoid exposure to different drivers and vehicles when taking multiple trips in a confined time period.

20 Tesla Employees Worked At SpaceX Ahead Of NASA Astronauts Launch

Forest Products IIII - Fr, 29/05/2020 - 14:45

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday revealed it temporarily assigned about 20 of its employees to the Space Exploration Company, better known as SpaceX.What Happened The automaker didn't say when the workers were transferred, or for how long. It said the employees are working on "certain technical matters" at SpaceX, as earlier reported by CNBC.Both companies are run by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk and have four board members in common.Tesla said in the SEC filing that it is paying SpaceX an estimated $100,000 for the assignment of its employees.See Also: What To Know About NASA And SpaceX's Crew Dragon LaunchWhy It MattersThe disclosure comes at a time when SpaceX is working on launching its Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board.The launch, which would be SpaceX's first crewed mission to space, was scheduled last Wednesday but was delayed because of bad weather. The next launch attempt will take place Saturday.In a previous filing with the SEC, Tesla revealed it constantly makes financial transactions with its sister company.The automaker said it sold $1.2 million worth of battery components to SpaceX in the first three months this year and purchased $600,000 worth of "non-battery vehicle parts" from the space company. It also built a "custom tool" for SpaceX at the cost of about $700,000, the filing said.Price Action Tesla shares closed 1.8% lower at $805.81 on Thursday and traded slightly higher in the after-hours session at $807.Image Credit: Courtesy of NASA.See more from Benzinga * Tesla Leads Electric Car Sales In South Korea Thanks To Model 3 * McDonald's Faces Class Action Over Lack Of Worker Protection Against Coronavirus * California Governor Believes Tesla Isn't Moving Out Of The State Anytime Soon(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

The Coronavirus Has Not Stopped the Global Trade of Forest Products

International Forest Industries - Fr, 29/05/2020 - 14:33

The Coronavirus Epidemic has negatively impacted the supply chains for numerous industry sectors worldwide the past few months.

Many commodity products saw reduced trade during March and April, a result of reduced demand, closures of manufacturing facilities to protect workers, constraint in the handling capacity of goods at many ports, and widespread financial distress. However, one sector that has remained fairly strong during the initial period of the epidemic is the forest products industry.

Demand for toilet paper, face masks, disinfecting wipes, corrugated paper for cardboard boxes, and wood products for home renovations are just a few forest products that have been in unusually high demand in many countries during this spring.

A closer look at the March 2020 trade data, the first “Coronavirus month”, reveals that global trade of lumber, logs, wood chips and pulp increased in March as compared to the previous month.

The following snapshot illustrates a few interesting examples from the WRQ of positive developments in the forest industry sector from February to March this year:

• Softwood Logs – China increased imports by 14% m-o-m, with most of the added logs originating from New Zealand, Germany and Russia. Log imports to South Korea rose 19%, while Australia and Canada shipped about 70% more logs in March than in the previous month.

• Softwood Lumber – Lumber shipments from New Zealand and Canada were up 32% and 25% m-o-m, respectively. Lumber importation was up in most of the major markets in March, including China (+59% m-o-m), the US (+27%), the United Kingdom (+13%), and Japan (+10%).

• Wood Pulp – Three of the four largest pulp-exporting countries, Brazil, the US and Chile, increased their shipments between 12% and 26% in March (m-o-m). The five top importing countries all purchased more pulp in March than in February, with China and South Korea increasing their volumes the most (40% and 29% respectively).

• Hardwood Chips – China, Portugal, and South Korea imported more chips for their pulp industry in March than in the previous month. Most of the major chipexporting countries, including Australia, Thailand, South Africa, and Brazil shipped more chips in March than in February.

In the coming months, numerous countries around the world are planning to ease lockdown policies and loosen the rules that are restricting house constructions, international commerce and consumer shopping. These changes may further benefit many companies in the forest industry sector. However, expect a rough road ahead.

Interested in wood products market information from around the world? Please consider subscribing to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ), a 56-page report, established in 1988 and with subscribers in over 30 countries. The report tracks prices for sawlog, pulpwood, lumber & pellets worldwide and reports on trade and wood market developments in most key regions around the world. For more insights on the latest international forest product market trends, please go to www.WoodPrices.com

Contact Information
Wood Resources International LLC
Hakan Ekstrom, Seattle, USA

The post The Coronavirus Has Not Stopped the Global Trade of Forest Products appeared first on International Forest Industries.

US – Bilingual Sales Representative wanted

International Forest Industries - Fr, 29/05/2020 - 14:14

Wallingford’s Inc. is seeking a qualified bilingual applicant for a full-time position of Sales Representative based out of their office in Oakland, ME.  The job requires fluency in French and international travel to Canada.  The Sales Representative’s core responsibilities will include having designated accounts where business needs to be maintained in Eastern Canada while continuing to identify sales opportunities to capture new business.  Basic computer and communication skills is a requirement.

College degree not necessarily required.  Inquiries please contact chip@wallingfords.com.

The post US – Bilingual Sales Representative wanted appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Economic impact study reveals Maine loggers contributed an estimated $619 million to state economy in 2017

International Forest Industries - Fr, 29/05/2020 - 13:57

Maine Loggers – The Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of Maine released in March results of a comprehensive study of the economic impact of Maine logging, showing the industry contributed an estimated $619 million to the state economy in 2017.

The study, The Economic Contribution of Logging and Trucking in Maine, conducted by the University of Maine and the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, revealed that in 2017 logging supported approximately 9,366 Maine jobs either directly or indirectly, generated $342 million in labor income, pumped an estimated $25 million into state and local tax coffers, and remains critical to a range of industries and communities across Maine.

“This study demonstrates the vast impact logging has on the Maine economy and highlights its role as the foundation of the state’s entire $7.7 billion forest products industry,” Dana Doran, Executive Director of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, said. “It also shows what Maine stands to lose if the mounting challenges to the logging industry are not overcome.”

To better understand the nature of the harvesting industry in Maine, analysts combined a traditional input-output (IMPLAN) analysis with primary data gathered from member companies of the PLC, the logging trade association representing companies that together harvest more than 75 percent of all timber harvested in Maine. The study calculates the economic impact of logging in the state of Maine for 2017 through both the IMPLAN analysis as well as a survey delivered to members of the PLC in 2018. Where appropriate, results were also compared with findings of a previous, similar study on the 2014 impact of Maine logging to identify industry trends. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau, and other appropriate sources was incorporated in the analysis to present a complete picture of the industry’s status.

In addition to overall economic impact and jobs, findings of the study and associated research included:

  • According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the real average wage for workers in the logging industry in 2017 was $47,289 (in 2018 dollars). This represents a 3.2 percent increase in wages since 2014.


  • The survey sent to PLC contractors showed mechanization remains dominant in the industry: Fully 56 percent of surveyed firms were identified as whole tree harvesting operations, and another 35 percent as cut-to-length harvesting operations – both of which use combinations of mechanized logging equipment such as feller bunchers, delimbers, grapple skidders, forwarders, and harvesters to cut, yard, and process wood. Only 8 percent were identified as conventional hand crews using chain saws. Respondent companies employed slightly fewer crews on average in 2018 than in 2014. Interestingly, the proportion of cut-to-length crews in mechanized logging (while still a minority) increased in 2018.


  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, Maine’s logging sector is heavily dominated by small businesses, with an average (between 2006 and 2016) of 67% of employing establishments in the industry employing fewer than 5 people. Additionally, 1,719 non-employer entities in the logging and harvest sector were reported in Maine during 2017. These entities are overwhelmingly (94%) sole proprietorships.


  • Survey respondents reported an average of 13 full-time equivalent employees per firm. As in 2014, the majority of respondent employees work in the woods, on average 7 per firm; an additional average of 2 per firm provide office support, 3 trucking and 1 mechanical support. It is notable that the average number of wood-based employees per firm, as calculated from survey responses, is a little more than half of what it was in 2014.


  • On average, survey respondents had 42 operational weeks in 2018 and harvested 1,621 acres per firm.


  • Trucking remains critical to the logging industry. Most survey respondents (26%) trucked either all or the majority (37%) of the material harvested by their firm. Thirteen percent rarely (less than 50% of the time) trucked their own material and 24% contracted with an outside source for all their trucking needs.


  • Logging is a capital-intensive industry. Survey respondents reported $21.1 million in new capital investment – 76% of which was spent on new equipment.


  • For 2018, Maine Forest Service data showed 11,817,367 tons of timber were harvested in Maine including 4,222,170 tons of saw timber, 5,391,052 tons of pulp wood, and 2,204,145 tons of biomass. That was an overall decrease of from 2014, when data showed 14,188,085 tons of timber were harvested in Maine, including 4,004,051 tons of saw timber, 7,289,270 tons of pulp wood, and 2,894,764 tons of biomass.


The economic study released today comes in the wake of a 2019 Maine Logger and Log Trucker Employment Availability and Wage Analysis Report prepared by the Maine Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Southern Maine that found Maine is facing a shortage of loggers and log truckers that will grow and which could hinder the growth of the forest products industry in the state if wage growth does not occur. That study revealed wages for logging equipment operators and log truckers in Maine are lower than those for comparable jobs in competing industries in the state, and this combined with a tight labor market and looming retirement for large numbers of loggers is concerning for Maine’s forest economy.

The heart of the issue identified by the 2019 study is profit margins for logging contractors have dwindled as costs of doing business have risen, limiting the ability of contractors to raise pay for workers. With low unemployment and strong competition for skilled operators of heavy machinery and trucks, logging contractors are struggling simply to keep the workers they have, let alone attract new ones.

“The inevitable conclusion based on a review of the new study and of the wage and employment study released last year is that logging is a critical Maine industry under threat that must be preserved if the state is to avoid a collapse of its forest products industry and the deep and irreversible impacts that would have on Maine’s economy, rural communities, and character,” Doran said. “The challenges facing loggers are not insurmountable, but failure to overcome them would be disastrous for Maine.”

Harvesting is an integral part of Maine’s forest products industry. Wood pulp, wood, and paper and paperboard are Maine’s 5th, 6th and 7th most valuable exports, respectively, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In an increasingly global world, the competitiveness of these exports relies on the economic feasibility and health of the harvesting industry that makes it all possible. The industry today faces many challenges but is meeting them by seeking new and nontraditional markets, increasing the focus on professionalism and safety, utilizing the latest technology, and working to educate a new and highly skilled generation of loggers for the future.

One key to the future of the increasingly complex logging industry is education, and this means the Mechanized Logging Operations Programs (MLOP) created by the PLC in partnership with the Maine Community College System, and with support from the state and industry partners, is critical to training a new generation of loggers ready to enter to the industry as older workers reach retirement age. The program is currently recruiting students for its fourth 12-week class, scheduled to begin June 22 in the Old Town area.

More information is available at http://maineloggers.com/mechanized-logging-operations-program/

Maine’s loggers are a vital part of the state’s forest products sector, which is worth an estimated $7.7 billion annually.

The post Economic impact study reveals Maine loggers contributed an estimated $619 million to state economy in 2017 appeared first on International Forest Industries.

$15m rail link helps Drax reduce supply chain emissions and biomass costs

International Forest Industries - Fr, 29/05/2020 - 13:11

The rail link has increased capacity to deliver more sustainable biomass from Drax’s LaSalle BioEnergy pellet plant in Louisiana, USA to its UK power station, taking thousands of trucks off local roads.

The $15 million rail link and other initiatives have already contributed to a $5/tonne reduction in Drax’s biomass production costs in 2019.

In its first year of operation, a new $15m rail link has increased the flow of sustainable biomass from one of Drax Group’s US pellet plants to its UK power station, reducing emissions and costs whilst increasing the resilience of the energy company’s supply chain.

The five miles of rail track connects Drax’s LaSalle pellet plant in northern Louisiana to the regional rail network, enabling freight trains to deliver the pellets to the company’s dedicated export facility at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge.

From there, the pellets are shipped to Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire, which supplies around 12% of the UK’s renewable electricity.

The new rail link allows Drax to deliver around 7,000 tonnes of sustainable biomass to the Port of Greater Baton Rouge in each train, compared to just 27 tonnes that could be transported by each truck previously.

Drax Biomass Senior Vice President Matt White said:
“The new rail spur has been a great success. Since it was commissioned last May it has significantly increased the amount of sustainable biomass we can deliver. It’s also taken thousands of trucks off local roads, unlocking carbon savings and costs in our supply chain as we build a long-term future for the sustainable biomass that provides millions of UK homes and businesses with renewable power.

“Biomass-generated electricity will be an important part of the global climate change solution. It supports healthy forest growth and biodiversity, while providing reliable, flexible renewable power, and could enable bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, known as BECCS – a vital negative emissions technology that will be crucial to meeting net zero targets.”

A team of up to 40 contractors worked through two of the wettest Louisiana winters in decades to clear the site, excavating around 180,000 cubic yards of dirt to level off the ground and stabilise it before three sets of rail tracks could be laid. The work also included installing conveyors to get the pellets to the new rail loading point.

Rafael Moreno, Drax Biomass associate director of engineering said:
“It was a huge amount of work and the wet winters certainly created some challenges. It’s hard to excavate when everything turns into mud. But the team pulled together and worked through the night to get the track laid and completed so the spur could be commissioned in May last year.”

The rail spur at LaSalle is part of Drax’s wider efforts to cut the costs of its biomass by around a third by 2027. The rail link and other initiatives, including the co-location of a sawmill at the LaSalle site last year, has already contributed to a 3% reduction in biomass production costs to $161/tonne in 2019 compared with $166/tonne in 2018.

Drax acquired the LaSalle BioEnergy plant in Urania in northern Louisiana in 2017. LaSalle BioEnergy is one of three US pellet plants owned by Drax. The three plants produce a total of 1.5 million tonnes of sustainable biomass pellets a year.

Photo: The first train arrives at the LaSalle plant in May 2019. By Rafael Moreno

The post $15m rail link helps Drax reduce supply chain emissions and biomass costs appeared first on International Forest Industries.


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