Fibrowatt has selected a site offered by Surry County near Elkin, N.C., to build a biomass-fueled power plant.


Fibrowatt has selected a site offered by Surry County near Elkin, N.C., to build a biomass-fueled power plant. The plant will provide poultry growers with an alternative for the management of poultry litter in western North Carolina.

"The poultry industry is an important employer in this region and an important part of our rural economy. This plant will help support our local poultry industry and will benefit all of the people who live in and around Surry County," said Craig Hunter, chairman of Surry County Board of Commissioners.

The Fibrowatt plant is expected to contribute at least $10 million annually to the local economy through fuel purchases and transportation, employee payroll, and facility maintenance costs. The plant will create much-needed jobs for the region, both during the construction phase and during long-term operation of the plant.

Based on Fibrowatt's experience with the Fibrominn plant in Minnesota, the project is expected to create as many as 300 construction jobs during the two-year construction phase of the project. When operations begin, the project is expected to support 80 or more jobs in plant operations, fuel transportation, barn cleanout services, and the operation of a planned adjacent ash fertilizer plant. The plant will be designed to produce up to 40 MW of renewable energy without introducing new greenhouse gases into the environment.

"By using poultry litter as our primary source of fuel, the Fibrowatt plant is able to remain carbon neutral, creating energy from existing biomass materials," said Rupert Fraser, CEO of Fibrowatt. "That is one of many environmental benefits that a Fibrowatt plant offers."

Fibrowatt's subsidiary, Fibrominn, opened the nation's first poultry litter-fueled power plant in Benson, Minn., in October 2007.

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