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Stevens County company has state energy tie

Borgford BioEnergy LLC in Stevens County is one of four Washington companies that will work with the Department of Natural Resources on renewable energy projects using biomass from state lands.

The company, with operations at Springdale and Valley, has developed a gasifier that turns waste wood into synthetic gas and bio-char, a material like charcoal that is useful as a soil additive.

“That’s where we’re headed,” said owner Dale Borgford, who added he hopes to have the first gasifier working by August.

Department spokesman Aaron Taso said the four projects will put small-diameter logs, slash and other woody material to good use even when poor markets shut down other activity in the woods. That will preserve jobs, he said, while producing some revenue from state trust lands.

“The goal is to create a new green industry in the woods,” he said.

Taso said moving the projects forward may ride on legislation, SB 6236 and HB 2481, that would allow the state to sign long-term supply contracts with the operators. The contracts would make it easier for owners to get financing, he said.

The other projects are in Okanogan, Klickitat and Clallam counties.