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176 Concord Street, P.O. Box 22287, Charleston, SC 29413-2287
Contact: Erin Dhand, Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
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Carolina-Pacific, Port of Georgetown Welcome First Ship

Georgetown, SC - The Port of Georgetown is welcoming the first ship call as part of a 20-year contract with a South Carolina manufacturer and exporter of biofuel.

The Liamare, a 351-foot bulk cargo vessel, is scheduled to dock at the Port of Georgetown Friday morning and load 5,000 tons of wood briquettes for export for Charleston-based Carolina-Pacific. The briquettes are used in power generation, primarily in Europe, as an eco-friendly substitute or supplement to coal.

In addition to the business across the dock and the related maritime job impact, Carolina-Pacific set up on-site manufacturing operations known as “Carolina-Pacific Briquetting” at the Port of Georgetown last fall. The company occupies more than 100,000 square feet of warehouse space at the port to manufacture and export wood briquettes, wood pellets and switchgrass pellets.

“We're excited to welcome our first ship and hope to continue to build export volume in the coming months,” said John B. Kern, chairman and CEO of Carolina-Pacific. Kern said that the next ship to load the briquettes is expected in May.

In addition to the local impact, Carolina-Pacific's operation has a direct tie to the state's forestry industry by using South Carolina-sourced Southern Yellow Pine in the Georgetown production of the briquettes.

The South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA), which owns and operates the Port of Georgetown, is working to bring additional business and cargo to the docks. The SCSPA sales team continues to pursue business for Georgetown while working with the South Carolina Congressional Delegation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on getting the channel back to its authorized depth of -27 feet.

Another ship is expected in Georgetown later this month to offload a different product.

Wood pellets and briquettes are quickly becoming in high-demand across the Atlantic due to requirements by the European Union that member countries generate 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

Last summer, Carolina-Pacific signed a 20-year contract with the SCSPA with two, five-year renewal options to ship through the Port of Georgetown.

The South Carolina State Ports Authority, established by the state's General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport facilities in Charleston and Georgetown, handling international commerce valued at more than $62 billion annually and receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy. An economic development engine for the state, port operations facilitate 260,800 jobs across South Carolina and nearly $45 billion in economic activity each year.