Significant environmental milestone for Mississippi project
Velocys plc (VLS.L), the renewable fuels company, announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on the environmental assessment report for Velocys’ planned Bayou Fuels biorefinery in Natchez, Mississippi. With the FONSI process completed, Velocys will now focus on the next steps in the project’s development, including securing the state-level permits that will be required to construct and operate the biorefinery.
The 160-page environmental assessment report details the impact of the proposed facility across 15 potential aspects, including: land use, water resources, air quality, wildlife, visual impact, noise, transport and public and occupational health. In each case, the report concludes the plant would have “none”, “none to minor”, or “minor” impacts during construction and operation.
The FONSI was issued as part of Velocys’ ongoing development of a 100-acre site in Natchez that the company secured in October 2017. The site will be home to a pioneering biorefinery that will use Velocys’ innovative technology to produce low-carbon transportation fuels from the wood wastes of lumber operations and tree plantations. The plant is expected to convert locally-sourced woody biomass waste into enough renewable fuel to meet the demands of running around 40,000 diesel and gasoline trucks.
No opposing or negative comments were filed as part of the USDA’s public consultation process.
“This is a significant step in the permitting of the Bayou Fuels biorefinery as well as an important milestone for the overall development of the project. The environmental assessment provides independent confirmation that the project will not give rise to any significant environmental impacts and reflects our commitment to responsible and safe project development," David Pummell, CEO of Velocys, said.
“This is a great step forward for a project that is a natural fit for the local resource base and economy. The USDA assessment should ease considerably the process for obtaining additional permits, and other project development activities," Chandler Russ, Executive Director – Economic Development for Natchez/Adams County, said.
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From the April 2018 issue of Hydrocarbon Processing