Low Country BioMass, LLC, Ridgeland, SC, completed construction and began production in mid-November. The pellet plant is on track to finish the commissioning process and begin its 24/7 schedule by the middle of January.
With three Andritz pellet presses, the plant is converting pine residue from area sawmills into pellets bound for Europe to be used in residential heating and by utilities companies to generate heat and electricity. A small percentage of the 100,000 ton annual production is sold domestically for animal bedding.
Owner Sonny Harwell and his sons Beau and Rhett handled general contracting internally. “We have a background in metals recycling, and we were very familiar with projects of this size,” Harwell says. After 30 years in the waste business and 15 in scrap metal, the family sold those interests and became involved in biomass four years ago. Harwell expects to announce expansions that will bring pellet production at the plant to 200,000 tons soon.