Plum Creek Timber Company, Inc., announced last week that it has finalized a long-term fiber supply agreement with Drax, a leading power company in the United Kingdom. There will be a new facility constructed this summer near Beekman on Hwy. 425.

Morehouse Economic Development director Kay King said she has been working closely with Drax officials.

“The groundbreaking will take place around the first of June,” King said. “The two plants that are going up are the only two in the United States.”

Plum Creek will deliver up to 770,000 tons annually of sustainably-managed wood fiber to two U.S. pellet manufacturing locations during the course of the 10-year contract. Drax plans to construct two pellet mills. These plants will provide more jobs in the parish, consisting of turning wood fiber into pellets for export to its power station in the United Kingdom. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2014, according to The Plum Creek Timber Co. website.

Rick Holley, President and CEO of Plum Creek, stated on the website that he is proud to partner with Drax, “to work toward practical solutions that help develop sustainable energy, provide an attractive return for our investors, and create jobs in our communities.”

According to the website, Plum Creek is one of the largest landowners in the nation and the most geographically diverse, with approximately 6.4 million acres of timberlands in major timber producing regions of the United States and wood products manufacturing facilities in the Northwest.

Sen. Francis Thompson spoke about the future plant during a community leaders luncheon at the City Hall Tuesday.

“I'm excited,” Thompson said. “I'm excited for the City of Bastrop and Morehouse Parish. This is proof that job opportunities are out there. We just need to work together to get these business owners to come here to Morehouse Parish.”