FE Wood has partnered with Hancock Lumber, a large, creditworthy forest products company in Maine to provide a guaranteed fiber supply for the project. Their three Eastern White Pine sawmills are strategically located to provide sawmill residues to the facility, while leveraging their existing procurement network to source all the roundwood needed. To our knowledge, no pellet producer in New England has a guaranteed fiber supply similar to ours. We have a ten year agreement, structured to ensure the project always has access to wood during high demand periods. Hancock has backed this supply agreement with a letter of credit. They are also an investor in the project, so are incentivized to ensure reasonable prices.
The site sits within a historically underutilized and over stocked wood basket. We plan to use 100% eastern white pine in our manufacturing process due to its low silica content and excellent binding properties. While there is strong demand for white pine saw logs within the corner of southern Maine and New Hampshire where we will source our wood, there is very little demand for white pine pulpwood. Saw logs that go into construction timber constitute only 25% of the forest biomass but 80% of the value. We will utilize the remaining 75% of the biomass from a white pine harvest. This micro-market dynamic actually gives the FEWNE project access to fiber prices comparable to the southeastern U.S., which is extremely rare for any New England forest products operation.
Sustainability and Stewardship
FEWNE is proud to work with an outstanding community of loggers, landowners and foresters who take pride in managing and protecting the forests of New England. Each member of the supply chain is trained and certified to ensure best practices are followed in the woods, on the landings, and in the mills. Our supply chain is governed by a chain of custody program that allows tracking and verification of each load of raw material, from the stump to the scale. Independent verification of each harvest ensures land and forests are protected.
New England forests and landowners generally do not use replanting or fertilizing. Natural regeneration and best management practices allow forests to maintain healthy biodiversity and growth. The New England forest products industry takes sustainability and best management practices very seriously, with several organizations working together to ensure training, certification and professional operation are not simply encouraged, but required to work in the woods.
FE Wood and Hancock Lumber have been a part of this tradition for over 160 years, sourcing fiber for our mills from local landowners and operators, generating economic impact in our local communities. We respect the balance of sustainable resource management and economic growth, and will continue to do so for generations to come.