Power from pellets Drax facilities boost timber industry in Louisiana and Mississippi, port in Baton Rouge _lowres

Drax Biomas wood pellets are unloaded at the company's facility at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge for shipment to the United Kingdom. Some of the pellets are produced at a plant near Bastrop that is being required by the state to install pollution control equipment following complaints from an environmental group.

Drax Biomass, which operates two wood-pellet producing plants in north Louisiana and exports its products through the Port of Greater Baton Rouge, has moved its headquarters from Atlanta to Monroe.

Greg Martin, Drax chief operating officer, said the move makes sense. The company produces wood pellets at three U.S. plants: in Bastrop, Urania and Gloster, Mississippi. The pellets produced at those plants are directed to the Baton Rouge port. Then they are shipped to Britain, where they are smashed into sawdust and used as fuel for power plants, instead of coal.

Drax has about 190 employees in Louisiana, including 20 in the Monroe headquarters. The company started moving its operations from Atlanta to Louisiana in January.

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