October 12, 2006

Inventing the BIOstock Services Concept

"Boom" periods provide investors with high potential return - at high risk. To reduce these risks, early business collaborations are often formed with seasoned providers of products and services that can reliably meet project requirements and deadlines. These relationships represent a real value to new enterprises by providing sure-footed execution of critical parts of the operation based on experienced management and knowledge of existing resources.

Other outsourced products and services that will contribute to the success of new biofuel facility investments include: marketing, publicity, training, lobbying, consulting, real estate, insurance, financing, manpower, shipping, procurement, engineering, design, construction, sales, etc., etc.

A good example of a company that is taking its core business and repositioning itself to service the booming biofuels industry is the Price Companies, Inc. of Monticello, Ark. They recognize that, to be successful, new biorefineries will require a steady, year-round flow of biomass feedstock ("biostock") which needs to be contracted, shipped, stored, pre-processed, and conveyed into the facilities. With very little variation, these are the same services that Price currently provide at 19 wood processing installations throughout the southeastern U.S.

Price recently hung a new shingle establishing a division called Price BIOstock Services under the control of experienced General Manager Dick Carmical. Below is a press release that provides a glimpse of their business vision.

The Price Companies, Inc. introduces new Price BIOstock Services division
Experienced wood processing facilities operator markets management services for handling other biomass feedstock

Monticello, ARK (October 12, 2006): The Price Companies, Inc. has announced the launch of a new division called “Price BIOstock Services.” As a wood processing services company for over forty years, the new division will focus on offering a broad range of management and operations technology services to companies involved in the rapid growth of biofuel refineries in North America and abroad.

The future of biofuels production will involve using cellulosic biomass (like wood chips, rice straw, corn stover, and even urban waste) as feedstock for the refinery/conversion process. Capitalizing on the parent company’s existing resources and experience from operating state-of-the-art facilities at nineteen sites in the United States, the new division offers an expanded set of services for managing other biomass feedstock materials. These services include consulting, procurement, systems design/engineering, and facilities management.

“From industry changes we are monitoring through our association memberships, we anticipate a surge in demand for the products and services that The Price Companies have been providing, with minor modification, for over forty years,” says Price BIOstock Services General Manager Dick Carmical. “The need for specialized equipment and personnel will be huge worldwide. Price can provide people and facilities to procure, grow, harvest, and process the fiber necessary for biofuels. We are eager to work with enterprises in search of an experienced, professional team that can source, build, and manage biostock.”

In a related development, The Price Companies, Inc. has announced the signing of a contract with fine paper manufacturer PaperlinX Limited of Australia. Under the terms of the contract, Price will build, own, and manage a state-of-the-art facility that will enhance the quality and consistency of pulp to be produced for PaperlinX’s Maryvale Mill pulp capacity and bleach plant in Victoria, Australia.

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Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good move for Price. In any gold rush, the people (and companies) that make the real money are not the gold miners, but the people who sell what the miners need.

C. Scott Miller said...

This is really an exciting company. Think about all the risk-takers panning for "ethanol gold". They will all need to either enlist or suddenly develop expertise at handling feedstock. Why take a risk on such a critical part of the production flow? And Price has been doing it for forty years!

As the variety of biostock grows, their expertise will grow with it. They will, in all likelihood, be the first to develop refined sorting and shredding equipment which will have greater biofuel yields. I assume they will diversify into offering customed blending services.

I have already referred one project to them. With the growth of the industry, I hope to refer many more.