Friday, November 11, 2011

[biofuelwatch] The boom of the global pellets trade is unstoppable

The boom of the global pellets trade is unstoppable
Thursday, 10 November 2011

According to a study by Hawkins Wright Ltd., Kew, UK around 2.5 million tons of pellets were imported into Europe in 2010; this is 40% more than in 2009. Experts are expecting the international wood pellets trade to continue its rapid growth over the coming years. Pöyry Management Consulting Ltd., London, UK are forecasting transcontinental trade flows with a volume of 18 million tons of pellets per year for 2020.

According to the survey carried out by Hawkins Wright, the major market for wood pellets is Europe, with the Netherlands accounting for 900,000 tons in 2010, followed by the United Kingdom with over 500,000 tons. Currently, the European power plant market is mainly supplied by producers from the USA and Canada. According to the North American Wood Fiber Review, around 1.6 million tons of pellets were shipped from the USA and Canada to Europe in 2010. Between 2008 and 2010, the number of pellets transports from North America doubled – and the trend continues.

The first freighter from the new RWE Innogy mega factory in Georgia, United States, which has an annual production capacity of 750,000 tons, reached the Dutch harbor of Dordrecht at the end of June, after 14 days at high sea. It had around 23,000 tons of wood pellets on board. It is possible, however, that other regions will outperform North America in the coming years. The world's largest pellets factory with an annual capacity of 900,000 tons in Vyborg, Russia, which is mainly geared towards exports, took up production this year. Brazil also has major plans. The Brazilian paper and cellulose producer Suzano is planning to take into operation three pellets factories with a combined annual capacity of 3 million tons by 2015.

The more international trade increases, the more forests are under pressure. The Renewable Energies Directive already lays down rules for liquid biomass, but still no criteria for solid biomass.


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Biofuels are a wide range of fuels which are in some way derived from biomass.

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