Work is on proceeding on schedule for the projected fourth quarter 2014 opening of Drax Biomass International’s $160 million wood pellet mill in northern Morehouse Parish.

Haskell Company of Jacksonville, Fla., is the general contractor for the project, which will create 45 full-time jobs when the Morehouse BioEnergy plant is operational. During construction, Haskell will employ up to 250 workers at the site.

In January 2012, company representatives contacted officials with Louisiana Economic Development. The state created a custom incentive package to woo the company, who announced plans to begin construction in December.

Earlier this year, Drax announced it had finalized terms on a 10-year contract with Plum Creek Timber to provide wood fiber products that will be used to create pellets used for fuel at electric generating plants in the United Kingdom.

Drax also operates Amite BioEnergy just east of Woodville, Miss. Products from both plants are transported to a facility at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge, where it is loaded on containers and shipped to the UK.

Earlier this month, Gov. Bobby Jindal announced the state was contributing an additional $500,000 to assist the project. These funds will be used to improve a 2,000-foot section of Carl Road west of U.S. 425 to accommodate up to 150 trucks it is estimated that will bring raw materials to the plant each day it’s operational.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission is processing applications for potential employees. Persons interested in applying should go to the Morehouse Career Solutions Center at 250 Hold Drive in Bastrop. Information is also available through the agency’s website,