Wisconsin lacks coal, oil, natural gas, but not biomass

Posted on May 24, 2010. Filed under: Biomass, Economic development |

From an article by Pete Bach in the Appleton Post-Crescent:

APPLETON — The Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance brought its media campaign to the Fox Cities last week, spreading the word that green fuel isn’t just a passing fad.

“We don’t have coal, oil or natural gas, but we do have biomass,” said Josh Morby, executive director of the alliance, who along with two other members met with The Post-Crescent.

“The logistics and the transportation system to date has been set up to move large, dense objects like coal, primarily by rail. That’s certainly going to change as we look for potential alternative feedstocks, whether it’s wood waste or some type of animal waste,” he said.

The supply of biomass — organic matter like plant material, vegetation, agriculture waste, forestry waste — isn’t inexhaustible in Wisconsin. But Morby said the available supply is more than sufficient to meet the need for projects eyed at the Domtar Corp. paper mill in Rothschild and Flambeau River Papers in Park Falls.

Steven Fields, a Miron Construction employee based in Madison who is project manager for the company’s industrial division, said biomass ventures produce a rippling economic benefit.

“These are large projects. It creates a lot of construction jobs, so it brings a lot of money into the local towns around construction sites, plus the vendors and materials suppliers,” he said.

“It gives the whole community a boost.”


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