With the opening of Basaga International, the Port of Wilmington, after years of inactivity due to Hurricane Florence’s damage, now has an operating wood chip facility. Basaga International shipped its first major shipment in late July and a second and larger shipment is scheduled to depart later this month. Both vessels are for customers in Turkey.
The owner of Basaga International, Taner Basaga, said the company has spent approximately $2.5 million to upgrade the premises, with work starting at the beginning of the year. The company invested in a conveyer system, loader, and a new electric room. Basaga added that upgrades are still ongoing, as he’s waiting on a piece of equipment that will streamline loading operations and reduce delivery drivers’ trips by about 20 minutes.
According to Basaga, about 95% of the material the facility receives is softwood pine logs sourced within about a 100-mile radius of the port (occasionally it will receive already chipped wood). After delivery, the logs are chipped on site before they are loaded onto a vessel for international export. The revamped facility is helping to support the local logging and forestry industry, he added.
Basaga said he’s eyeing a potential expansion in Morehead City and hopes to export about 400,000 short tons of wood chips out of Wilmington before the year ends.
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Revamped Wood Chipping Facility Exports First Major Shipment At Port