Deal Watch: Ochoco to build wood pellet facility


OBM-091709--153Hit hard by declining harvests, the housing slump and the recession, Oregon timber towns have turned to everything from mountain bikes to microbrews to try to fill the economic void.

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OBM-091709--153BY JON BELL

Hit hard by declining harvests, the housing slump and the recession, Oregon timber towns have turned to everything from mountain bikes to microbrews to try to fill the economic void.

But Prineville-based Ochoco Lumber Company is sticking with something a little closer to home to stoke up its Malheur Lumber Company in John Day: ponderosa pine wood pellets.

In November, the 77-year-old Ochoco received a $4.9 million economic recovery grant from Business Oregon to build a wood pellet fuel facility in John Day. The grant, funded with federal stimulus dollars, will create 11 new jobs and retain 80 positions at the Malheur sawmill operation. That plant processes about 30 million board feet of ponderosa pine annually, down from some 50 million board feet in its heyday.

“Without this grant, we would have had a serious concern about being able to continue to run the operation,” says Bruce Daucsavage, president of Ochoco Lumber. “Now, we’ll have the ability to make a multitude of different products, which will make us more competitive and give us a better opportunity to retain jobs.”

Ochoco planned to break ground before the end of 2009 and have a drying system and two pellet-making machines installed by summer. Production, which could range from 25,000 to 40,000 tons annually, is scheduled to begin this fall using woody biomass from surrounding national forests as the raw material.

Ochoco has partnered with Bear Mountain Forest Products, a Cascade Locks company, to market the pellets and compressed bricks to hospitals, schools and other commercial buildings in the region that are heated by boilers.

Daucsavage says the hope is to ultimately increase output at the pellet facility and add even more jobs, all while helping to manage the surrounding woodlands wisely.

“We have a lot of responsibility and a lot of exposure, but we want to do it right,” he says. “This is a great opportunity for our little town.”

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
PRICEEXP. CLOSEBUYER / PARENT (HQ)SELLER / PARENT (HQ)ANNOUNCED
NDQ4Connected Platforms (Vancouver, Wash.)Delta Systems and iTech Oregon (Portland)11/10
NDQ4H4Y Technologies (MD)iWeb Fusion Technologies (Portland)11/1
NDQ4Liquid Agency (Portland)Neutron (CA)11/11
NDQ4Riverside Company (OH)Precision Wire Components (Tualatin)11/9
NDQ4Veolia Energy North America (MA)Portland District Cooling Company (Portland)/Marubeni Sustainable Energy (CA)11/9
NDQ4Thomson Reuters (NY)Sabrix (Lake Oswego and CA)11/17
CAPITAL RAISING AND CONTRACTS
PRICE (TYPE)COMPANY (HQ) / LEADERSHIPINVESTOR (HQ)ANNOUNCED
$36M (stock offering – projected)PremierWest Bancorp (Medford)/Jim FordPrivate investors11/20
$15.7M (recycling equipment contract)Bulk Handling Systems (Eugene)/Steve MillerSouth Bayside Waste Management Authority (CA)11/1
$14.5M (highway contract)Klamath Pacific (Klamath Falls)/Jeff SchafferODOT and the Federal Highway Administration11/19
$8M (private equity offering)Avnera (Beaverton)/Manpreet Khaira20 investors11/16
$7.6M (highway contract)Moore Excavation (Portland)/Roy MooreODOT11/24
$6.5M (equity, options and warrants)RF Arrays (India and Portland)/Chandra DeshpandeyND11/23
$4.9M (wood pellet plant grant)Ochoco Lumber (Prineville)/Bruce DaucsavageBusiness Oregon/U.S. Forest Service11/12
$1.7M (Highway 101 contract)Laskey-Clifton (Reedsport)/Donald LaskeyODOT11/10
$1.6 (road contract)Dirt & Aggregate Interchange (Fairview)/Henry PelfreyODOT11/5
$1.3M (bridge replacement contract)Oregon State Bridge Construction (Stayton)/Craig GriesODOT11/18
$1M (earnest money)Country Coach (Junction City) Jay HowardBryant Riley (CA), Riley Investment Management (CA) and Lloyd Miller11/25
$393,000 (hazardous fuel removal contract)Bill Corley Logging (Pendleton)/Bill CorleyUSDA Forest Service11/24
REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS
PRICEBUYER / PARENT (HQ)REAL ESTATE (LOCATION) / SELLER (HQ)ANNOUNCED
$114MBlackstone Group (NY) and Glimcher Realty Trust (OH)Lloyd Center (Portland)/Glimcher Realty Trust (OH)11/2
$4.9MAcumed (Hillsboro)54,000-sq.-ft. office building (Hillsboro)/Hansen Commercial Investments (Hillsboro)11/17
$3.1MDP Partners (NV)14 acres (Portland)/City of Portland11/17
$2.6MGrand & Salmon (Portland)18,000-sq.-ft.-office building (Portland)/Samrose Design Center (Portland)11/4
NDGeoffrey Bernhard, BG Pacific Holdings (Portland)6,800-sq.-ft.-office (Portland)/Rose Festival Foundation (Portland)11/10



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