Drax Biomass played host to a diverse group of international scientists and forestry experts at Morehouse BioEnergy on Monday, following an international conference in Little Rock.
Jim Guldin, a supervisory research ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service and program chair for the International Union of Forest Research Organizations workshop, said the tour was comprised of an international group of scientists who study forest management with a focus on sustainability. The IUFRO workshop, which is held every two years, was in Little Rock last week. At the conference, attendees share research and knowledge on alternative forest management strategies.
“We had about 50 scientists attend the meeting, and after the meeting, about 20 took part in this four-day post-conference tour,” Guldin said. The group toured a forest in the Ozark mountains in Missouri and Arkansas, locations in Vernon Parish to view long-leaf pine forests and the Drax plant in Morehouse Parish.
Guldin said representatives from the Czech Republic, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and China participated in Monday’s tour, which began with a discussion of sustainable sourcing practices with Drax Biomass representatives and transitioned into a tour of the Morehouse BioEnergy property.
Participants were able to observe the pellet manufacturing process from start to finish. It begins with the arrival of truckloads of pine thinnings and sawmill residual fiber at the weigh station and moves through the chipping, screening, drying, shredding and pelletizing processes.