Highland Pellets is partnering with Orion Energy Partners to expand and upgrade its Pine Bluff wood pellet facility.
Completed in 2017, the Highland facility is currently undergoing equipment upgrades. Once completed, the company expects the facility to produce up to 675,000 metric tons of sustainably sourced wood pellets per year.
Highland’s wood pellets are shipped to the European market. According to a company news release, the facility is “supported by a long-term contract with a major European power producer.”
This strategic capital partnership is aimed at funding this facility expansion, in addition to providing capital for other long-term growth initiatives. The terms of this partnership were not disclosed.
“Our partnership with Orion Energy puts us in position to become a top global supplier of sustainable wood pellets,” Highland Pellets CEO Tom Reilley said in a statement. “This transaction will allow us to scale up our Pine Bluff facility and continue to execute our growth strategy. Orion Energy has been a collaborative capital partner and was able to execute the transaction in an uncertain market backdrop with speed and efficiency. We look forward to growing our platform with the Orion Energy team.”
Orion Energy Partners is a “private capital partner” focused on lower and middle market energy infrastructure. The company, which has offices in New York City and Houston, provides debt solutions for downstream, midstream, conventional electric power, alternative energy, energy services and other energy subsectors.
Future growth initiatives include projects in Stephens, Ark. and the Port of Pine Bluff, according to Highand’s website. The company is also reportedly planning to add additional production capacity throughout the southeast United States.
Highland has approximately 90 full-time employees at the Pine Bluff facility and supports more than 330 jobs in the forest industry and transportation supply chains, according to a company release.
Image courtesy of Highland Pellets