Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D. toured the Drax Biomass facility in north Morehouse Parish on Thursday morning, along with several members of the Morehouse Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO).
Abraham, Louisiana's 5th District Congressman was given a briefing on Drax's business including the companies impact on the local economy, which is substantial. With a $3.3 million payroll and $5.5 million spent with local suppliers, Drax employees 68 people directly, and is responsible for 150 indirect jobs.
"I learn a lot being at companies like this." Abraham said.
Plant Manager Richard Lamb, gave Abraham, MEDCO Director Kay King, and MEDCO Board member Joe Mansour a tour of the facility where compressed wood pellets are produced almost entirely from southern yellow pine, locally-sourced from small and large landowners in Louisiana and Arkansas. When operating at full capacity, Morehouse BioEnergy can load 30 railcars per day for shipment to the Baton Rouge Transit facility.
The pellets are then shipped to the United Kingdom where they allow electric utilities to reduce their dependence on coal and lower carbon emissions.
The Morehouse Parish facility called Morehouse BioEnergy, is located in northeastern part of the parish. The plant was commissioned on August 2015 and sits on 138 acres and can produce up to 450,000 metric tons of pellets annually.
In August Drax received the first Sustainable Biomass Partnership (SBP) certificates issued by SCS Global Services (SCS), a leading global third-party certifier, who presented this certificates to industry leader, Drax Biomass Inc., for its Morehouse BioEnergy and Amite BioEnergy wood pellet manufacturing facilities.“SBP certification marks a major milestone in our quest to become a leading supplier of sustainably-sourced, high quality wood pellets,” said Pete Madden, President and Chief Executive Officer of Drax Biomass Inc.