Alternative Fuel Demand Fuels New Arkansas Businesses

NOVEMBER 13, 2006 - Posted at 7:39 a.m. CST

PINE BLUFF, AR - The rising demand for environmentally friendly and affordable fuels has helped out some Arkansas entrepreneurs.  One family has started up a company that turns sawdust into wood pellets for use in residential heating stoves.

The Weavers of Fiber Resources Incorporated near Pine Bluff have been making and selling the pellets since 1990.  Now they are expanding, and others are starting wood pellet plants.

Sparkman Wood Pellets in Mountain View began production in August.  Bio-Wood is scheduled to begin production in December in Monticello.  Future-Fuel Chemical Company near Batesville plans to start production during the first quarter of 2007, and Barnes Brothers Hardwood Flooring may open a pellet plant in Hamburg.

Bill Weaver, who helped establish Fiber Resources in 1982 along with his father, Bob, said recycling has always been the focus of the company.  The company initially made industrial fuel cubes, extracting fiber from nearby International Paper's settling ponds, drying it and forming cubes that IP could burn in its boilers.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)