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CONECUH COUNTY, ALABAMA ISSUED BDO ZONE ‘A’ RATING FOR WOODY BIOMASS

The Conecuh County Commission and Ecostrat are pleased to announce the issue of an investment grade BDO Zone ‘A’ Rating for Woody Biomass. The Conecuh County BDO Zone is the first ‘A’ rating in the State of Alabama and extends a 75-mile drive distance from the center point in Evergreen, AL.

BDO Zone Ratings have been recognized in the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) “Plan to Enable the Bioeconomy in America: Building a Resilient Biomass Supply” as a pivotal tool to expedite the development of biobased industry across the nation. The Conecuh County BDO Zone Rating was supported through funding from the USDA Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG).

Conecuh County’s BDO Zone ‘A’ rating denotes high prospective viability of feedstock supply chain and infrastructure, and low expectations of default risk in the Zone. The region features a well-established history of forestry operations, supported by a mature supply chain and robust rail and highway infrastructure for easy access to timberlands and ports. Additionally, the availability of industrial sites suitable for large-scale operations and a pro-business community create an ideal environment for biobased plant expansions.

“This rating signifies that Conecuh County is prepared for bio-manufacturing opportunities that attract significant investment and create good jobs,” said Brenda Tuck, Rural Development Manager for the Alabama Department of Commerce. “Conecuh County's profile in the bio-energy sector just received a major boost, and this will lead to major developments down the road.”

“Conecuh County has a tremendous resource base and attractive attributes, it was no surprise to see the Evergreen/Conecuh County community awarded an ‘A’ rating for its potential to support further “The 'A' rating for Conecuh highlights our community's significant potential to become major contributors in the wood industry,” stated Jessica Dent, Director of Economic Development for the City of Evergreen and Conecuh County. “Historically, our community has been underrepresented in this sector, and we are actively seeking partnerships with biobased companies to leverage our untapped woody biomass resources.”

“The sustainable forest industry provides good-paying jobs to over 54,000 Alabamians. Forestry and wood products manufacturing is the economic engine for much of rural Alabama and counties like Conecuh County are well-positioned for these operations. ForestryWorks® is proud to support Conecuh County in connecting its residents to rewarding careers as the forest industry continues to grow”, commented Chris Isaacson, President, Forest Workforce Training Institue (ForestryWorks®).

Jordan Solomon, Chairman of the BDO Zone Initiative added, “With nearly one million bone dry tonnes of woody biomass, Conecuh County is ideally positioned to support biobased companies seeking top locations for large-scale biomass projects. As the first in the province to receive an 'A' rating, Conecuh is set to lead the way in creating new, sustainable, low-carbon markets across the state.”

To see the full BDO Zone Rating for Conecuh County, Alabama please click here, or visit www.bdozone.org.

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