The developer of the Centre Pointe project in North Charleston is venturing into the alternative energy field in North Carolina.

A green offshoot of The Weiser Cos. Inc. is looking in the Fayetteville area to build a biodiesel plant that would convert tree limbs, construction debris and used cooking oil into a fuel that can be sold back to local municipalities for less than what they would pay for conventional diesel.

"We think it's a win-win," founder and president Richard Weiser said Friday.

His Weiser Energy Partners has been in talks with Cumberland County officials for at least several weeks about the proposed 1.5-million gallon a year project, the Fayetteville Observer reported last week.

Don Willis, development manager for Weiser Energy, said the venture hopes to obtain its permits and begin construction later this year. Costs were not disclosed, and a site has not been selected. The project will require about 5 acres. The company's plans came to light at a public meeting last week.

Weiser said he expanded into the alternative energy business about two years ago through a solar-panel venture. He's still in the real estate game, as well. His largest local undertaking is a proposed 300-acre mixed-use project planned for a portion of the Ingleside tract at Interstate 26 and U.S. Highway 78. Weiser is best known in these parts for Centre Pointe, which after a decade of fits and starts took off in 2006 with the opening of Tanger Outlet Center.

On board

Former Gov. Jim Hodges has landed on the newly expanded board of a Lowcountry bank.

CoastalSouth Bancshares Inc. said the one-term South Carolina CEO has been named a director.

Hodges was unseated in 2003 by Mark Sanford, and the former Springs Co. lawyer currently is a partner with Atlanta-based law firm McGuire Woods. He's also a senior adviser to the lobbying group McGuire Woods Consulting.

"Governor Hodges brings a vast background of attracting businesses to South Carolina and his knowledge of, and experience in, governance will be most advantageous," CoastalSouth said in a statement last week.

Hilton Head Island-based CoastalSouth's retail bank focuses on its own backyard, but its residential lending unit, Homeowners Mortgage Enterprises Inc., has an office on Gillon Street in Charleston.

Gassed up

The InterTech Group Inc. ownership clan has topped off its investment in a Kentucky utility.

A family trust controlled by InterTech CEO and chairwoman Anita G. Zucker reported that it bought an additional 36,432 shares of Delta Natural Gas Co. between July 14 and Sept. 3. The purchases raised the North Charleston company's stake in Delta to 7.6 percent -- 253,489 shares -- from 6.5 percent in July.

Curiously, the flurry of transactions included a single share, bought for $29 on Aug. 25, according to a disclosure statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Zucker trust began buying shares of Delta -- one of several large equity holdings it owns in the utility sector -- in November, and it is by far the largest shareholder. The total value of its stake in the company was about $7.5 million as of Friday. To date it's been a passive investor, aside from collecting the gas company's 4.6 percent annual dividend.

Reach John McDermott at 937-5572.