By Kyle Lovern
WILLIAMSON – Former Williamson resident Stew Windle was part of the Green Diesel delegation that presented an idea to produce diesel fuel from wood waste to the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority (MCRA) at its regular meeting on Thursday afternoon.
Windle, a businessman who now resides in North Carolina, along with Milan Tomecek of the Czech Republic and Thomas Guenther of Global Ecofuel Solutions of Spain, were in the area for meetings and to make a proposal to build their plants here in West Virginia.
The group met with local businessman Everett Hannah of Hannah Lumber about using the wood waste from his sawmills.
They also visited the Harless Industrial Park site on 22 Mine Road near Holden to look at a possible location to build a plant. Other smaller plants could be built beside of the saw mills. This would negate the need for saw mill owners to transport their waste products, such as saw dust, wood chips and bark. This material could then be used to make diesel fuel.
Unilin Flooring is located at the Mingo County industrial site and also produces a lot of wood waste that could be turned into fuel.
“This technology has no environmental impact,” Windle told the group. Green Diesel controls the patent for the invention for all of North America. Basically the technology is for inexpensive production of alternative liquid fuels from biomass.
One ton of waste can produce 100 gallons of diesel fuel. The largest plant could conceivably make hundreds of gallons of the bio fuel each day. Smaller plants would produce less, but could be built adjacent to a saw mill.
A biofuel is a fuel that is produced through contemporary biological processes, such as agriculture breakdown, rather than a fuel produced by geological processes, such as those involved in the formation of fossil fuels like coal and petroleum.
The cost of a large plant would be $25 million; however the Czech Bank is ready to provide about 70 percent of the funding. “We want to partner with this community and the state to build a plant here in the area,” Windle said. Each plant would make available about 20 jobs. So the economic impact could be great for the region.
Guenther, an engineer, explained the process to the MCRA and others in attendance.
The MCRA Board or Directors and its Director Leasha Johnson said they would be interested in leasing land at the Harless Industrial location for such a plant and would welcome the company to the area.
(Kyle Lovern is the Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)