The St. Joe Company is teaming up with Green Circle Bio Energy, Inc., a producer of biomass based renewable energy. The agreement encourages economic development opportunities for Florida's Northwest region, including the potential to make the Port of Port St. Joe operational.
They anticipate several potential new business development opportunities to create jobs in the region. Green Circle is interested in leasing a site from St. Joe along the Apalachicola Northern Railway to develop a wood pellet production facility.
Green Circle operates the world's second largest wood pellet plant in Cottondale, Fla. This plant directly employs 81 individuals with an additional several hundred indirect jobs created and infuses more than $70 million in the local community.
Green Circle and St. Joe also express their intent to enter into a wood fiber supply agreement as part of a definite agreement to be negotiated between the parties. The wood pellets produced at the new production facility can be transported via truck or Apalachicola Northern Railway to the Port of Port St. Joe for further shipment to overseas markets. Additionally, bulk cargo port facilities are being considered for development at the Port site to accommodate Green Circle's shipping needs.
The Port of Port St. Joe is well positioned for bulk cargo shipments, offering access to rail, the U.S. Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and state and U.S. highways. The Port also has a navigational channel that is federally authorized to a maximum of 37 feet; however, dredging the Port's shipping channel to the authorized depth is necessary prior to commencing shipping activities.
The obligations in the letter of intent of either The St. Joe Company or Green Circle Bio Energy are contingent upon the Port of Port St. Joe receiving funding to complete maintenance dredging of the shipping channel.