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NEW THIS MORNING: Wood pellets plant to open near Waycross

Photo by Bao Vang

Photo by Bao Vang

Georgia Biomass, located five miles west of Waycross, is expected to produce some 750,000 tons of wood pellets a year when it opens by early this summer.

Wood pellets are used as a substitute for coal, primarily in Europe. Georgia Biomass is a subsidiary of RWE Innogy, a European utility company.

Bob Hereford, interim director of the Okefenokee Area Development Authority, says the plant will provide 80 jobs. He says more important to the area's economy is that the plant will provide a market for pine trees grown in the area.

A ceremony opening the plant is scheduled for May 12.