PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) - Highland Pellets LLC, an Arkansas company, today announced the building of a 500,000 metric ton per year wood pellet facility in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The $130 million plant will create more than 35 direct jobs and an additional 482 indirect jobs with a direct financial impact of $86 million annually that will benefit local communities.
Highland Pellets is a privately held company with industry veterans from the wood pellet, finance, and energy markets. Wood pellets are a sustainably sourced feedstock for use by European industrial utilities to lower their carbon footprint and provide sustainable base load power.
"While this plant is the first built under the Highland brand, our colleagues Mike Ferguson and Scott Jacobs bring decades of industry leading experience in the engineering and operating of industrial wood pellet plants," Highland Pellets Chairman Tom Reilley said. "Together with Highland's leadership team who are veterans of Cargill, Black River, JP Morgan and EnerNOC, we are excited to complete our Pine Bluff facility and expand our footprint."
"This is another great example of matching Arkansas's workforce and resources with a company that sees the potential for success here," Governor Mike Beebe said. "It speaks highly of southeast Arkansas that the business-savvy leaders of Highland Pellets chose Pine Bluff for this investment and this plant."
The Arkansas Economic Development Commission and Economic Development Alliance for Jefferson County worked closely with Highland Pellets on this project. Alliance President Lou Ann Nisbett said, "We are elated that Highland Pellets has chosen Pine Bluff for this majornew operation."
Highland Pellets is working with first-class industry partners, including a leading forestry company, to provide sustainable fiber feedstock and Cooper/Consolidated for the management of the logistics supply chain for export. Groundbreaking is expected to commence in October and deliveries from the plant to begin March 2016.