Canadian Biomass Magazine

Barnwell County, S.C., designated a BDO Zone

January 17, 2022
By Ecostrat

SouthernCarolina Regional Development Alliance and Ecostrat are pleased to announce the issuance of a new Bioeconomy Development Opportunity Zone (BDO Zone) designation for Barnwell County, South Carolina. The ‘A’ Rating for forest and sawmill residuals is expected to drive new market development for bioeconomy projects that can utilize the region’s more than 12.1 million green tons per year of woody biomass.

“We have known for years that our region is perfect for the growth of forest product manufacturing, which is already a key sector of our economy. However, the new BDO Zone rating provides an assurance through third-party certification that the 75-mile region centered by Barnwell County has the available bio feedstock, anchored suppliers and the strong infrastructure needed for manufacturers, including those that are investing in multimillion dollar facilities, creating hundreds of jobs,” said John Fleming, director of development for SouthernCarolina Alliance. “In short, it’s an indication that the due diligence has been completed, and our region is primed for success in this type of manufacturing, removing much of the uncertainty for investment.”

Jordan Solomon, president of Ecostrat, states: “A BDO Zone rating signals that a region has undergone rigorous and extensive due diligence using over 100 standardized, transparent, and validated risk indicators based on the BSCR Standards for bio-based investment. ‘A’ and ‘AA’ BDO Zone Ratings identify areas in the country best positioned for low-risk bioeconomy project development.

BDO Zones do three key things: they help project developers identify new project locations easier and faster; they help investors more quickly deploy capital in these regions; and they help communities create new clean energy jobs. Oftentimes, small communities don’t have the platform or the credibility to promote themselves as great areas for future bio-based development. BDO Zone designations change that, and raise the flag over these communities as some of the best areas in the country to build the next bio-based plant.”


American biomass provides an economic development engine with the potential to create 160,000 jobs and nearly $15 billion of economic benefit. The BDO Zone Initiative can help the U.S. realize this potential by supporting new market development for American bioenergy, advanced biofuels, bio-based heat and power, bio-materials, and clean hydrogen.

For more information on the Barnwell County, S.C., BDO Zone, or to read the full Risk Rating report, visit

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