The AVAPCO project consists of the acquisition, expansion and leasing of an existing biomass research, development, and demonstration facility located in Thomaston, Georgia. The expansion will enhance the production capabilities of the facility and allow it to produce Nanocellulose from biomass feedstock. Nanocellulose is a renewable, biodegradable, compostable fiber that is as strong as Kevlar™. Nanocellulose is a versatile material with a vast array of commercial applications including composites and foams for automotive, aerospace, and building construction, viscosity modifiers for cosmetics and oil drilling fluids, and high performance fillers for paper, packaging, paints, plastics, and cement. Nanocellulose fibers can also be used to replace petroleum products in the production of plastics. The Project is anticipated to create 55 direct, quality, permanent full-time jobs including engineers, chemists, operators, technicians, and managers in a low-income community where the unemployment rate is 21.3%. Approximately 33% of these positions are expected to be filled by low-income persons or by residents of the low-income community. AVAPCO is working closely with the Southern Crescent Technical College and expects to recruit for a significant number of positions from graduates of Southern Crescent. Two graduates have already been hired. In addition to creating new direct jobs at the facility, the ongoing operation of the facility will provide millions of dollars each year to the local community and support approximately 100 indirect jobs for companies providing goods and services to AVAPCO. American Process (API) is a biomass research, development and demonstration facility located in an economically-depressed rural community with high unemployment. API provides high quality skilled jobs to the predominantly blue-collar local workforce. API’s proprietary process cost-effectively breaks down biomass into cellulosic sugar for the production of bio-fuels and bio-chemicals and nanocellulose. Nanocellulose is an incredibly versatile material that could replace a variety of petroleum-derived plastics with biomass, including those used in paints, cosmetics, construction materials and auto/aircraft parts.
The NMTC helped the Westervelt Company to build a new wood pellet manufacturing facility in Aliceville, Ala.