Columbia Company Agri-Tech Producers announced a new partnership Wednesday that may yield the world's first commercial grade source of a new, low-carbon footprint coal alternative.
ATP has an exclusive license to a process, called torrefaction, that converts wood to a coal substitute. Joseph J. James, President, Agri-Tech Producers, sees this project as fuel to fire an acceleration in biomass research, with potential to "Create hundreds maybe thousands of jobs and, in the process, make our environment cleaner."
Republican Economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin has been an advisor to both George W. Bush and Senator John McCain. As the guest speaker today, he is looking at South Carolina's development as "An example of the ability to build the local infrastructure and to provide the national leadership to move forward." He discussed this about this and recent push on reduced American Dependency on Foreign Oil, as recently emphasized by Senator Lindsay Graham. National security was a major point of discussion when it came to outlining reasons for a push towards an energy-independent America. Dr.Holtz-Eakin talked today about rocky climates between the US and many oil trading nations as well as the ever-rising cost of oil.
When asked what it would take to develop an infrastructure to support a new industry such as torrefaction, Dr.Holtz-Eakin first cited educational reform."Better schooled workers can learn new technologies and adapt to changing circumstances." He advocated teaching the populace the skills right now. "After that, you're turning three hundred million people into that infrastructure."
Cate Street Capital (CSC) is a New Hampshire-based firm, will be investing equity into ATP's engineering as well as contributing to NC organization Kusters Zima, who plan to roll out the first machine this summer.