Weyerhaeuser, Mitsubishi to Explore Bio-pellet Production in U.S.

Feb. 2, 2010 - Weyerhaeuser Company and Mitsubishi Corp. announced that the two companies signed a Strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore the possibilities of collaborating in the biomass-to-energy business.

The companies are specifically interested in assessing the feasibility of jointly investing in and operating a commercial-scale bio-pellet production facility in the United States by 2011, Weyerhaeuser said.

Depending on the success of the joint feasibility study, more facilities could follow in addition to the initial production facility, Weyerhaeuser added.

Bio-pellets would be produced using wood based biomass, targeted from U.S.-sourced sustainably managed forest resources or by-products and sold to utilities and industrial users for energy production, Weyerhaeuser said.

Mitsubishi currently operates two bio-pellet facilities in Japan and is also actively involved in the management of Vis Nova Trading GmbH, a major producer of bio-pellets in Germany.

"Weyerhaeuser is committed to developing sustainable and renewable energy solutions for a carbon-constrained world," said Dan Fulton, Weyerhaeuser president and CEO.

"This opportunity has the potential to offer a significant renewable energy option here in North America and beyond while also creating green jobs in our operating communities," Fulton said. "At the same time, we have the opportunity to enhance the value of Weyerhaeuser timberlands by converting residuals from our forest management activities into a new revenue stream."

SOURCE: Weyerhaeuser Company

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