The Port of Port St. Joe recently announced an agreement with Georgia-based Twin Rivers Company to begin exporting wood biomass to Honduras.
Not only will the project create 10 jobs at the port and 100 timber jobs inland, it will also help clean up downed trees in the Panhandle from Hurricane Michael.
Twin Rivers Company will begin exporting woody biomass to Honduras for the use of power generation. In announcing the agreement, Port Authority Chairman Guerry Magidson said “This is a great opportunity that has taken a long time coming, hopefully this is just the start we need to see more activity at the Port.”
Gulf County Economic Development Director Jim McKnight was ecstatic with the news. “We are back in the port business – and as importantly, the timber business – in Gulf County.”
Clay Crosby, owner and CEO of Twin Rivers Company, said the long-term project has been in the works for many years. “The ability for Twin Rivers to bring an outlet for non-merchantable timber, such as the woody material left behind after Hurricane Michael devastated the panhandle’s timberlands is certainly a sight for sore eyes.” Crosby said, “By creating a market for the woody biomass heavily located in the Gulf County area, we are able to help mitigate some of the high cleanup costs landowners are still dealing with throughout the area.”
Magidson said an agreement between Twin Rivers and The St. Joe Company to lease an area on the western side of the port will lead to improvements on the St. Joe bulkhead. He also said the project will help with the billions of dollars in damage to the Panhandle timber industry wreaked by Hurricane Michael.
“It’s timber that can’t be used for paper or logs or lumber,” he said. “Initially, this year they’ll probably ship around 100,000 metric tons. The overall plan will eventually be shipping 60,000 tons per month.”