Highland LLC is expanding its footprint in Pine Bluff to meet the rapidly growing demand for renewable power generation by acquiring Fiber Resources, according to a news release. It will now operate as Highland FR.
It currently owns and operates Highland Pellets, a 675,000-metric tons-per-annum facility that employs 125 people. Highland will initially produce 150,000 metric tons per year of ENplus A1-certified wood pellets at the acquired plant, with room for further expansion.
"Arkansas is one of the leading states for sustainably-managed, working forests and is key to America's renewable carbon future," said Thomas Reilley, chairman of Highland Pellets. "We are excited to expand here and provide good-paying job opportunities for hardworking, skilled workers in Pine Bluff."
Founded in 1982 by J.R. "Bob" Weaver and his son William "Bill," Fiber Resources was initially constructed to fulfill a recycling contract with International Paper Company. During its more than 40-year history, the plant has produced an array of products, including barbecue pellets, heating pellets, horse bedding and cat litter.
Highland expects to employ more than 40 people at the plant going forward.
"We firmly believe Highland's business model will improve the existing facility and the overall employee experience," said Bill Weaver, president of Fiber Resources. "Our family is grateful for our 40 years in Pine Bluff and look forward to seeing how it achieves continued success with Highland."
Highland and its affiliates now own or have equity in two operating pellet plants and four renewable carbon development sites across the United States.
"Located in robust, sustainable fiber baskets, the projects have ready access to supply logistics, including mainline rail and deep- water port facilities," according to the news release.
The wood pellets at Highland FR will be made with sawdust and other leftover waste materials from existing sawmill activity that would otherwise be left to decompose or burn. They are fully sustainable under the Sustainable Biomass Program (SBP Compliant Biomass) and eligible for export into the SDE++ market.
Highland was advised on the transaction by Hogan Lovells LLP and Gill, Ragon & Owen; P.A. Fiber Resources was advised by Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP.
For more information on Highland's first facility in Pine Bluff visit highland-pellets.com.