STRONG — One of New England’s largest wood pellet manufacturers has been bought by the country’s largest residential pellet fuels producer.

Lignetics Inc., headquartered in Sandpoint, Idaho, recently completed the purchase of Geneva Wood Fuels from Chicago-based GF LLC, managed by Jonathan Kahn.

In 2008, Kahn and his partner Benjamin Rose acquired the former Forster Manufacturing wood products mill and invested more than $13 million in equipment and retrofitting to start producing wood pellets. Despite setbacks that included an explosion in 2009 and a fire in 2012, the mill has flourished as wood pellets continue to become an alternative to fossil fuels.

Lignetics president and CEO Ken Tucker, who did not respond to multiple requests for comment, said in a company news release that he was delighted to expand his company’s footprint into Maine and upper New England.

“Completing this acquisition is in line with our strategy to continue to expand our geographic footprint in the U.S. and remain the market leader in the residential wood pellet industry,” he said.

Lignetics, the largest residential wood pellet manufacturing company in the country, now has a production capacity of 550,000 tons of wood pellets per year, with six manufacturing plants in Maine, Oregon, Idaho, West Virginia and Virginia. Tucker said he anticipates continued support of the region’s customer base.

“Geneva has great customers, which we look forward to continuing to support with the help of Jeff and Lucinda Allen and the rest of the team,” he said.

Lignetics was founded in 1983 and is one of the founding pioneers of manufacturing premium wood pellets and Pres-to-Logs fire logs for home heating. Along with bagged and bulk fuel pellets, the company manufactures several other products, including animal bedding pellets and shavings, barbecue pellets in a variety of flavors and compressed wood bricks and logs, according to the company website.

Founded in 1983, the company takes its name from the Latin word for wood and has been a pioneer of the industry.

The flagship plant, built in 1979 in the small town of Kootenai, is 60 miles south of the Canadian border in the panhandle section of the state. Spokane, Wash., the nearest major city, is about 70 miles away.

The West Virginia and Virginia plants also are in small communities in heavily forested regions, where logging has provided a living for generations, according to the company. Recently, Lignetics merged with Oregon-based Bear Mountain Forest Products, adding facilities in Brownsville and in Cascade Locks, near the historic Lewis and Clark Highway.

Lignetics’ wood fuel pellets meet the Pellet Fuels Institute Standards Program. This third-party accredited program sets industry standards for consistent, reliable pellets from producers whose facilities are subject to regular inspection and lab testing.

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