United BioMass adds $10 million economic impact to community

NAHUNTA, Ga. - A new industry that converts waste wood into a usable fuel product is up and running in south Georgia's Brantley County, with expectations of a $10 million economic impact.

Located in Nahunta, United BioMass LLC produces briquettes and fireplace logs for commercial and home use.

"We've waited to make any public statement regarding our progress until we were actually operational, given the media clutter produced for 'intended' and 'proposed' facilities," said John Ford, United BioMass' managing director and president of parent company United BioFuels Inc.

The plant will employ 25 workers from the local area and will add $10 million to the local economy, company spokesman Toni O'Berry said. More than $10 million was spent in converting a former mulch manufacturing operation into the United BioMass production facility, she said.

The company's GreenHeat briquettes, a type of fuel in widespread use in Europe, are used for fuel by several industries, according to a company Web site, including electrical generation, cement production and steam generation. Its GreenHeat logs are for home fireplace use.

Both products are made by compressing waste wood that would otherwise wind up in a landfill.

It is a clean-burning fuel made from a renewable resource, a perfect industry for the heavily forested county, Brantley County Commission Chairman Ron Ham said.

"We're excited to have an industry come in and take over an old plant that was failing," Ham said. "They're using a renewable resource that we have plenty of and they're able to reach out into the community and spark the economy."

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