The Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation will explore biodevelopment opportunities


LEWISBURG (WVDN) – Last month, the USDA awarded the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation a rural business development grant to help the organization explore opportunities for bio-based rural economic development in the valley. of Greenbrier.

Biobased products are not new. Paper is an example of a product using a renewable raw material, but as technologies evolve, there are more and more applications for the remnants of our great wood industry.

Bioproducts include fuels such as biodiesel, resins that mimic those made from petroleum, agricultural products such as fertilizers. The opportunities are growing, but in order to understand if the Greenbrier Valley is a place that can support and/or attract these businesses, research into the raw materials and infrastructure available in the region must be comprehensive.

Enter Ecostrat – Ecostrat is a North American leader in the assessment, development, optimization and management of biomass supply chains. They maintain a 150-member industry stakeholder group and a $60 billion capital market ratings review board. Ecostrat works with communities, usually those in economic difficulty, to support current industrial sectors and create new jobs by accelerating rural biobased economic development.

The project is designed to increase the capacity of local businesses that manufacture or supply woody biomass, transportation and logistics, and related services to provide these goods and services to green technology businesses that produce bio-based products. Ecostrat, assisted by a local advisory committee, will:

  • research and clarify questions about raw materials (quality/quantity/logistics),
  • analyze and identify weaknesses in the supply chain or infrastructure and
  • provide technical assistance to local businesses to help them achieve an “A” rating.

In the second phase of this project, Ecostrat will provide further assistance to leverage the newly acquired BDO Zone rating to attract new markets to the Greenbrier Valley that purchase the products and services provided by local businesses and ultimately to create new jobs.

Greenbrier Valley EDC is currently forming a local advisory committee for this work. Interested parties can email [email protected]

Emerging green technologies in biodevelopment could represent economic opportunities for the Greenbrier Valley. It is important that we understand how we fit into this space and how to leverage our current strengths – primarily a viable and sustainable forest/timber industry – into growth.

Support from the West Virginia Senators’ Offices was important in awarding the project:

“I am pleased to see more funding in the region to support more economic development opportunities in the sawmill, transportation and forestry industries. I will continue to fight for the resources necessary to create and maintain a healthy business climate that our counties need to grow and prosper,” said U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito.

“Investing in our communities drives economic growth and creates well-paying, long-term jobs, which is why I’m pleased the USDA is supporting the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation’s efforts to accelerate local business development. The awards announced today will boost the forestry, transportation and sawmill industries in southern West Virginia, and I look forward to seeing the positive impacts of the investment,” said U.S. Senator Joe Manchin .


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