Garibaldi Forest Management (top), NewWood Corp. (middle) and ZeaChem (bottom) all benefited from New Market tax credits meant to help economically distressed communities.
Several promising businesses received investment through the program, among them:
- ZeaChem Applied Technology, which is building a $40 million plant in Boardman to convert waste sawmill wood into ethanol;
- Ochoco Lumber, which has completed a wood pellet mill in John Day;
- Garibaldi Forest Management, which is exploring a new economic model involving carbon storage and habitat restoration as well as wood products.
- NewWood Corp., which makes composites used for fencing, pallets and other products, made from waste wood and recycled plastic.
Bettina von Hagen, who has run the Ecotrust CDE since 2008, says a long pipeline of worthy projects awaits further investment in 2011 and beyond. “We’re seeing a tremendous amount of interest,” she says. “We could do $100 million to $200 million in projects per year.”
President Obama had sought to extend the program at $5 billion per year. That amount was shaved to $3.5 billion, with more than $25 billion in proposals competing for the money.