Canadian Biomass Magazine

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Michigan biomass cube plant up for sale

Oct. 5, 2011 – Cliffs Natural Resources is seeking a potential sale and will idle its operations at its renewaFUEL biomass production facility in Michigan.


October 5, 2011
By Cliffs Natural Resources

Oct. 5, 2011 – Cliffs Natural Resources is
seeking a potential sale and will idle its operations at its renewaFUEL biomass
production facility in Michigan. The facility, located at the Telkite
Technology Park near Sawyer International Airport in Marquette, Michigan, was
constructed to produce biofuel cubes from sustainably collected wood and
agricultural feedstocks. Since initial production, the plant has not performed
to design capacity, nor at a production level that justifies continued
operation.

Cliffs acquired renewaFUEL in 2007 and
previously operated a pilot plant in Battle Creek, Michigan. Construction was
completed on the Sawyer facility in early 2011, and the plant went through its
commissioning phase during the first half of 2011. The plant delivered its
first commercial supply of biofuel cubes to the Marquette Board of Light and
Power in mid-July.

David Blake, Cliffs’ senior vice president,
North American Iron Ore and the Cliffs executive with operational
responsibility for renewaFUEL, says, “While we believe the renewaFUEL business
model remains viable, the business is likely to have better prospects with a
company more experienced in the area of biofuels that can develop renewaFUEL to
its full potential.”

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