Escalating Standards Third-party audits will certify quality, transform industry Page 24
Plus: New Hampshire enters new era in renewable heat Page 30
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Pellet Mill Magazine
FALL 2012 | VOLUME 2 | ISSUE 2
4 2013 International Biomass Conference & Expo 40 2013 National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo
Waiting for Standards
The debate over fuel assessment protocols for producers shows the industry is committed to quality but concerned with the investment required for implementation. By Luke Geiver
27 Airoflex Equipment 22 Andritz Feed & Biofuel A/S 13 Astec, Inc.
A First for Thermal
New Hampshire’s unprecedented acceptance of renewable heat and its multiyear strategy is helping biobased thermal energy become part of the state’s energy future. By Anna Simet
18 B&W Mechanical Handling, Ltd. 39 BBI Consulting Services 9 Biomass Industry Directory 6 BRUKS Rockwood
14 Buhler Inc. 5 CPM Roskamp Champion 15 CST Industries, Inc. 35 D&S Engineering, Inc. 20 Dieffenbacher
Pellet Plants and the Pareto Principle
Balanced attention to design, engineering and process can reduce downtime and increase plant performance. By Yuri Chocholko
16 Fike Corporation
17 GreCon, Inc.
04 EDITOR’S NOTE
28 Industrial Bulk Lubricants
Standardizing Capacity to Satisfy Growing Markets By Tim Portz
06 INDUSTRY EVENTS
37 KEITH Manufacturing Company
07 STANDARDS STEWARD
11 LM Machinery 38 Maas Companies 2 Millard Maritime 23 PFI Pellet Fuels Institute 21 RUF U.S., Inc. 34 Schuech GmbH
Mystery in the Garage By John Crouch
08 TESTING GROUNDS Choosing Test Methods By Chris Wiberg
10 PELLET PLATFORM
The MBioEx Wood Pellet Bidding Platform By Kevin Triemstra
12 INDUSTRIAL INSIGHT
The Potential for Industrial Wood Pellets in Asia By M. Seth Ginther
29 Timber Products Inspection/ BIomass Energy Laboratories
14 BUSINESS BRIEFS
32 Twin Ports Testing
16 PELLET NEWS
19 Vecoplan Midwest, LLC 26 West Salem Machinery Co. FALL 2012 | PELLET MILL MAGAZINE 3
« Editor’s Note
Standardizing Capacity to Satisfy Growing Markets
Vice President of Content & Executive Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
In a Sept. 26 news story titled “Biggest English Polluter Spends $1 Billion to Burn Wood,” Bloomberg News’ Karl Lundgren reported that Drax Power Station, a coal-burning facility in the United Kingdom that provides nearly 7 percent of the U.K.’s electric power, is converting to pellet feedstocks. To continually supply this facility with pellets, Lundgren notes that it would annually require biomass from an area four times the size of Rhode Island. That's a staggering mental picture, and it is interesting that Lundgren did not use a country or region in Europe to illustrate the amount of acreage that will be required to produce the incredible volume of pellets this facility will need. He could have described it as half the area of of Wales. Instead, he chose an American state and, whether intentional or not, he made the connection that nearly everyone in European power and American pellets has already made: Europe’s migration toward a “carbon-lite” energy platform will rely largely on woody biomass commodities sourced from other parts of the world, likely led by producers in the U.S. A customer of this size, with others like it on the way, is certain to change the trajectory of the established North American pellet industry. How then, will the industry evolve to satisfy the huge opportunity presented by stations like the Drax facility, while continuing to develop and expand domestic markets? This issue of Pellet Mill Magazine is well-timed. As we seek answers to that question, we explore not only the evolution of industry-wide standards developed to guarantee European utilities boatloads of consistent and uniform pellets, but also the progress made by a small group of industry advocates to firmly establish domestic markets typically served in truckloads. Luke Geiver’s “Waiting for Standards” examines efforts to create an industry-wide pellet rating system to guarantee customers―foreign and domestic―that the pellets they buy consistently meet established criteria. Anna Simet’s “A First for Thermal” tracks the successful effort in New Hampshire to establish parity for renewable thermal energy to protect and grow a domestic market the policy’s proponents believe has plenty of upside. As producers are increasingly being called upon to serve two very different masters, it will be interesting to watch the industry develop practices and policies that support the growth of both market segments.
Make Plans to Attend REGISTER NOW
APRIL 8-10, 2013
Minneapolis, MN www.biomassconference.com
866-746-8385 | email@example.com |
4 PELLET MILL MAGAZINE | FALL 2012
#IBCE13 Follow Us: twitter.com/biomassmagazine
Editorial PRESIDENT & EDITOR IN CHIEF Tom Bryan firstname.lastname@example.org VICE PRESIDENT OF CONTENT & EXECUTIVE EDITOR Tim Portz email@example.com NEWS EDITOR Erin Voegele firstname.lastname@example.org FEATURES EDITOR Luke Geiver email@example.com CONTRIBUTIONS EDITOR Anna Simet firstname.lastname@example.org
Art ART DIRECTOR Jaci Satterlund email@example.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Elizabeth Burslie firstname.lastname@example.org
You deserve consistency and quality through your entire biomass pelleting process —from chips to load-out.
Publishing & Sales CHAIRMAN Mike Bryan email@example.com CEO Joe Bryan firstname.lastname@example.org VICE PRESIDENT, SALES & MARKETING Matthew Spoor email@example.com EXECUTIVE ACCOUNT MANAGER Howard Brockhouse firstname.lastname@example.org SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER Jeremy Hanson email@example.com ACCOUNT MANAGERS Marty Steen firstname.lastname@example.org Bob Brown email@example.com Andrea Anderson firstname.lastname@example.org Dave Austin email@example.com CIRCULATION MANAGER Jessica Beaudry firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Marla DeFoe email@example.com
Get it with CPM. U Equipment for your total biomass process U Integrated biomass expertise U Engineered for quality, durability and consistency U Energy efficient Look to your Partner in Productivity—CPM—for your biomass pelleting solutions.
SENIOR MARKETING MANAGER John Nelson firstname.lastname@example.org Subscriptions to Pellet Mill Magazine are free of charge—distributed twice a year—to Biomass Magazine subscribers.To subscribe, visit www.BiomassMagazine.com or you can send your mailing address to Pellet Mill Magazine Subscriptions, 308 Second Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203. You can also fax a subscription form to (701) 746-5367. Back Issues & Reprints Select back issues are available for $3.95 each, plus shipping. Article reprints are also available for a fee. For more information, contact us at (866) 746-8385 or email@example.com. Advertising Pellet Mill Magazine provides a specific topic delivered to a highly targeted audience. We are committed to editorial excellence and high-quality print production. To find out more about Pellet Mill Magazine advertising opportunities, please contact us at (866) 746-8385 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters to the Editor We welcome letters to the editor. Send to Pellet Mill Magazine Letters to the Editor, 308 2nd Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203 or e-mail to evoegele@bbiinternational. com. Please include your name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity and/ or space.
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COPYRIGHT © 2012 by BBI International
FALL 2012 | PELLET MILL MAGAZINE 5
« Industry Events National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo NOVEMBER 27-29, 2012
Hilton Americas - Houston Houston, Texas Next Generation Fuels and Chemicals Produced by BBI International, the National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo is tailored for industry professionals engaged in producing, developing and deploying advanced biofuels, biobased platform chemicals, polymers and other renewable molecules that have the potential to meet or exceed the performance of petroleum-derived products. Early bird registration rates expire Oct. 16. (866)746-8385 www.advancedbiofuelsconference.com
International Biomass Conference & Expo APRIL 8-10, 2013
Minneapolis Convention Center Minneapolis, Minnesota Building on Innovation Organized by BBI International and produced by Biomass Magazine, the International Biomass Conference & Expo program will include 30-plus panels and more than 100 speakers, including 90 technical presentations on topics ranging from anaerobic digestion and gasification to pyrolysis and combined heat and power. This dynamic event unites industry professionals from all sectors of the world’s interconnected biomass utilization industries―biobased power, thermal energy, fuels and chemicals. (866)746-8385 www.biomassconference.com
International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo JUNE 10-13, 2013
America’s Center St. Louis, Missouri Where Producers Meet Now in its 29th year, the FEW provides the global ethanol industry with cutting-edge content and unparalleled networking opportunities in a dynamic business-to-business environment. The FEW is the largest, longest-running ethanol conference in the world―and the only event powered by Ethanol Producer Magazine. (866)746-8385 www.fuelethanolworkshop.com
Canadian Renewable Fuels Summit 2012 DECEMBER 3-5, 2012
Westin Ottawa Hotel Ottawa, Ontario Canada is now a frontrunner in the worldwide effort to create clean, renewable transportation fuel. Attend the Canadian Renewable Fuels Summit to learn from industry experts, engage in valuable peer to peer collaboration, find solutions to your business challenges, and discover new products and services. The CRFS is a great opportunity to exchange ideas and gain a global perspective on the renewable fuels industry. We offer insightful plenaries and are now offering concurrent industry breakout sessions.
Standards Steward »
Mystery in the Garage BY JOHN CROUCH
The fall season is here. In fact, it began in July, as it usually does. This time is not to be confused with the “early-buy spring season,” which is largely the domain of specialty pellet retailers and the reason a number of fuel suppliers have found that it pays to stay connected with the stores that can really “sell” pellet heat. Most of the fuel is being moved by the home centers—both nationally and regionally—and they have become the principal channel for pellet fuel distribution in the U.S. The ability of these chains to offer pellet fuel as a major fall bulk delivery item and traffic builder has worked out well for them, and their business has certainly been good for our industry as well. Consumer confidence in sourcing and shopping for pellets has strengthened the sales of pellet stove, furnace, and boiler retailers over the past 10 years, and that will will continue to benefit our industry in the future. There is an interesting conundrum for the industry as the number of customers grows, however, and that is determining the annual level of tertiary storage. In the two other types of nonelectric, rural home heating fuels—oil and propane—the local dealers carry some inventory, which is known as secondary storage. This is to distinguish it from primary storage, a term for the fuel stored at refineries, import terminals and other major centers. What is unknown is the consumer’s storage, or tertiary storage, in tanks in their back yards. Every once in a while, tertiary storage (or carryover), can be an issue for both of those fuel delivery systems. While the precise nature of the carryover is not known on a national scale, local
dealers have a decent idea. Heating oil and propane dealers have long followed their local degree days and have a good sense of the amount of heat their customers use for a given number of degree days. This helps them determine when to send trucks out, allows them to anticipate their customers’ fuel usage, and also gives them a sense of their local market area’s carryover. If the cold weather shuts off suddenly in their market, the best oil and propane retailers can estimate the carryover and the resulting impact on their customers’ uptake of fuel the following year. Nothing like that exists in pellet land, but for years it hasn’t mattered. Basically, there has been way too much fuel for too few customers, and the presence―or absence―of carryover has been only one of many issues to deal with. Those of you with dreams of creating new pellet mills should keep that in mind and be certain you know who is going to buy your new pellets before moving forward. In the future, it could be worthwhile to know what the carryover of pellets is, particularly on a regional basis. For instance, if the mid-Atlantic region has an average of 30 bags per major customer versus New England at 10 bags per customer (which might reflect very different spring weather), that could dramatically affect the uptake of fuel in the early summer buying season, and skew the uptake by region in a way that would be worthwhile to understand up front. As the number of households that buy bagged fuel continues to increase, the difference between 5 bags per garage on a national average, and 25
bags per garage, becomes a larger number. For every million households, every 10-bag average carryover is upward of 200,000 tons. As we continue to move more households into full or supplemental pellet heat, the carryover number becomes even more important, and anticipating this number will become much more meaningful to for all of us who care about pellet heat. Consumer carryover is particularly important in our form of heat, because it is a mystery. Most of our fuel moves through home centers, and even the specialty dealers we have do not tend to monitor degree days or their core customers’ carryover, like the heating oil and propane dealers do. Perhaps when we reach the promised land of universal, European-style direct delivery, this issue will be moot, but we are a long way from that. The vast majority of our customers enjoy the independence of shopping for fuel and are willing to handle bags, since most of them are saving a lot of money over their previous fossil fuel bills. Make no mistake, as the number of bagged pellet customers grows, the issue of “how many bags are in their garages, as of July 1,” will increasingly become a bigger issue. Our industry cannot rely on our retailers to monitor this for us; they are mostly home centers, and that is not their job. It’s our job, and we’ll have to figure it out, sooner or later. Author: John Crouch Director of Public Affairs Pellet Fuels Institute email@example.com www.pelletheat.org
FALL 2012 | PELLET MILL MAGAZINE 7
« Testing Grounds
Choosing Test Methods BY CHRIS WIBERG
In recent months, I have been repeatedly asked to explain the difference between the various test methods available for testing solid biomass fuels. Fortunately, this isn’t as difficult as it once was, as now most of the European national standards such as the German DIN, Austrian Önorm, and others have been replaced by the CEN/EN methods. It is still rather confusing, but I will try to make sense of it for you. Within the U.S., ASTM International has historically been the primary provider of test methodology for solid fuels including coal, refuse-derived fuels (RDF) and wood. Unfortunately for the biomass industry, most of these methods focus on coal and RDF with only a small number pertaining to wood. The lack of standards dedicated to biomass has resulted in many labs selecting coal or RDF methods to analyze biomass samples, and they may or may not be adequate for the purpose, especially when it comes to sampling and sample preparation. For example, all coal methods cite coal preparation standards to generate the sample to be analyzed. Unlike coal, wood does not pulverize under pressure, meaning that the coal preparation standards are essentially useless for biomass samples. Inconsistencies like these are generally left up to the lab to determine how to compensate, and it is unlikely that all labs that come across the same inconsistency will identify the same solution. The end consequence is that test results may differ between two labs citing the same test method. This same problem also resides within ISO test methods. Most of
8 PELLET MILL MAGAZINE | FALL 2012
the historical test methods available within ISO are for—you guessed it— coal and other fuel types. Obviously, the same problem applies. When the Pellet Fuels Institute Standard Specifications for Residential/Commercial Densified Fuel were being developed, these inconsistencies were understood and taken into consideration. Note, however, that some of the cited methods have been modified by PFI in order to make them applicable to pellets, and in some cases, PFI had to develop its own methods. Despite our best efforts to select ASTM methods that are applicable to pellets, in many cases these methods have not been updated in decades. That is not obvious, however, and a perfect example is ASTM E871 for total moisture in wood. While the method states that it was updated in 2006, the only update is the safety disclaimer in the scope. Around the year 2000, the European Union identified the lack of test methodology for solid biofuels and in response created a new technical committee within their normalization body—CEN. Over the course of a decade, and with an investment of around 10 million euros, CEN TC 335 created about 30 technical specifications including terminology, specifications, chemical and physical test methods as well as sampling and sample preparation procedures. Most of these technical specifications have now been published as EN methods. These European standards are the best documents we have available today when it comes to test methodology for analyzing solid biofuels, but there are still concerns. Since the
U.S. is not part of the EU, we had no input on these standards during their development. Therefore, they are very Eurocentric, and that’s apparent when comparing test methods for fines and durability in pellets. In addition, when performing the CEN/EN methods in our lab, it has become apparent that not all of these methods are as well researched. The best news is that we now have a voice in further developing these solid biofuel standards. In 2007, the CEN/EN methods were forwarded to ISO to convert them to true international standards. ISO responded by creating a new technical committee—ISO TC 238. Lead by ASABE, the U.S. is actively participating in ISO TC 238 to develop true international standards for solid biofuels. For the past four years I have had the privilege of sitting on the U.S. Technical Advisory Group for ISO TC 238 and also on five of the six working groups. As such, I have great confidence in the work products that are moving forward, and I encourage all who are interested to participate in their development. The ISO solid biofuel standards are still in various stages of development, and currently more than 50 standards development projects are being discussed. The first of these new standards should be published within the next year, with the rest being published in the next one to three years. Hopefully, the world will embrace them when they are published. Author: Chris Wiberg Manager, Biomass Energy Laboratory (218) 428-3583 firstname.lastname@example.org
FALL 2012 | PELLET MILL MAGAZINE 9
« Pellet Platform
The MBioEX Wood Pellet Bidding Platform BY KEVIN TRIEMSTRA
In August, the Minneapolis Biomass Exchange proudly released the first wood pellet bidding system in the country, which works anywhere wood pellets can be found within the continental U.S. From our point of view, one problem with the wood pellet industry is that the buying, logistics, and quality control processes are complicated. When dealing with a buyer, pellet mills must be assured of credit since they will often send out supply trucks without receiving payment up front. Getting familiar with each buyer and working through credit hurdles takes time. Once the buying process begins, either the buyer or seller has to arrange transport, even though neither party is in the transport business. Collecting quotes takes time, and once they are received from the transporters, the purchase price from the mill will adjust as well since there is only a maximum delivered price the buyer is willing to pay. Additionally, the buyer has to be assured that quality exceeds a minimum level. Since every mill manufactures a slightly different pellet, this can be confusing to buyers as they approach multiple mills for purchases. Coming from an information technology background where automation and efficiency is the norm, we at MBioEx wondered, “why can't buying occur with a few clicks?” That’s how the bidding platform got its start. So how does it work? The service for buyers is simple: they enter the price they are willing to pay per ton for delivered pellets, the number of tons they would like to receive (bids are more likely to be accepted if they are ordered by the truckload in multiples of 22 tons), and credit card payment information (for authorization purposes
10 PELLET MILL MAGAZINE | FALL 2012
only), or set up a line of credit through MBioEX. If they choose the credit card route, they will not be charged unless a mill accepts their bid. Once these basics are setup, bids can be submitted to pellet mills. Upon bid submittal, the MBioEX software automatically determines transport costs and subtracts them from the bid, and then sends resulting bids to pellet mills, which will compete to be the first to accept the bid. If the bid is too low, it will simply expire after 24 hours. There are no penalties for unaccepted bids; one only pays for selleraccepted transactions. The service does not allow you purchase a particular brand of pellet, but does guarantee minimum quality specifications. So who benefits? The system was organized in a manner to both save costs for buyers and increase seller profits through software automation and supply chain cost reduction. It assures buyers will receive quality-controlled pellets at a competitive price. Similarly, sellers no longer have to organize logistics and perform credit checks on buyers since the transaction is either prepaid or credit is assured. Overall, mills now have an opportunity to sell a commodity in a way that allows them to sell more volume and utilize excess capacity. To find out more, we have provided a list of frequently asked questions on the bidding platform web site. We’d like to thank the pellet mill stakeholders across the U.S. for their time and overall enthusiasm toward innovating and increasing the industry’s prospects. Author: Kevin Triemstra CEO, Minneapolis Biomass Exchange Kevin.email@example.com https://www.mbioex.com/bids/new/wood-pellets
« Industrial Insight
The Potential for Industrial Wood Pellets in Asia BY M. SETH GINTHER
Will there be an Asian market for industrial wood pellets? That’s a question that the U.S. industrial wood pellet market is confronted with almost daily. Personally, I am very bullish about this market developing because in order for it to do so, the Asian utility market will have to adapt to the European utility model of entering into long-term, off-take agreements with U.S. producers. To date, Asian utilities have been unwilling to do that. On a recent visit to Seoul, South Korea, to speak at the annual Biomass Trading Conference, I learned that Asian demand for industrial wood pellets will hover at around 5 million metric tons per year beginning in 2015. In both South Korea and Japan, subsidies are in place that will drive this demand number for years to come. If it is assumed that in order to develop production capacity for 1 million metric tons per year in the U.S., $200 million in development capital is needed, then approximately $1 billion in development capital will need to be deployed in the U.S. in order to meet that 5 million metric ton-peryear demand predicted for Asia. Who is going to spend that $1 billion? As I told the Asian utility community in my remarks in Seoul, U.S. financiers are anxious to make these investments in the U.S., but they will only do so once U.S. producers have signed longterm, off-take agreements with Asian utilities. At the end of the day, the industrial wood pellet industry is an infrastructure industry. Building out pellet manufacturing facilities and the supply chain infrastructure that’s needed to consistently deliver sustainable, high-quality industrial wood pellets requires infrastructure investment and that capital will not be deployed unless financial partners are assured of a long-term customer. Investors need
12 PELLET MILL MAGAZINE | FALL 2012
certainty in order to deploy capital. Every single successful industrial wood pellet company in the U.S. has used this model to build out infrastructure for European demand, and it will be a necessity to do the same for Asian demand. While in Seoul, I was asked the question a number times, “What about the spot market? Can’t Asian utilities meet their 5 million metric ton per year demand by buying wood pellets on the spot market?” Because the U.S. industry is based on long-term, off-take agreements with utility counterparties, it means that the country’s supply, for lack of a better term, is sold out. Sure, there are U.S. spot volumes from overproduction and other optimization scenarios, but those volumes are minimal and would barely make a dent in the 5 million metric ton-per-year number. Asia needs to take action now if it intends to source large volumes of industrial wood pellets from the U.S. Deliveries for 2015 will require significant infrastructure investment in the capital deployment cycle of the next six months. The Asian market must recognize that there is strong competition for supply from European utilities due to the Renewables Obligation Certificate banding announcements in the U.K. and expected additional subsidies in Belgium and the Netherlands. Asian utilities must follow the European model and sign long-term, off-take agreements that contain certainty in the contract—it’s the only way that the U.S. will deploy capital to meet the upcoming Asian industrial pellet demand. Author: M. Seth Ginther Executive director, U.S. Industrial Pellet Association (804) 771-9540 www.theusipa.org
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CRIBE grant supports pellet project Northern Ontario’s Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy announced it is providing $70,839 in funding to Atikokan Renewable Fuels to begin testing various natural additives to wood pellets to improve their performance in cooperation with Lakehead University. A separate $467,000 CRIBE grant will support the development of the BioEnergy Learning and Research Centre in partnership with Confederation College. The facility will include a biomass fuel testing lab, demonstration space, and a 150 kW boiler dedicated to research and learning associated with emissions monitoring equipment.
Maryland launches pilot rebate program The Maryland Energy Administration has launched a pilot program that offers a $400 rebate for new wood stoves and a $600 rebate for new pellet stoves. To qualify for the program, wood stoves must be U.S. EPA certified and emit no more than 3 grams of particulates per hour. Pellet stoves must also be certified, but can emit no more than 2 grams of particulates per hour. Rebates are only available for stoves purchased on or after Sept. 7. They can be purchased out of state, but must be installed in a Maryland residence. UK company offers biomass installer training Schiedel Chimney Systems Ltd. announced that new Hetas approved biomass installer training courses, H005
and H005BR, are now available at the Schiedel Hetas Training Center. The H005 course covers the installation of log, pellet and chip appliances, offering a mix of theoretical and practical elements that enable installers to carry out feasibility studies and professionally advise clients on fuel type, storage options and system design. Successful completion of the course allows Hetas registrants to extend their registration categories to include installation of biomass appliances. The H005BR course is a foundation course for H005 that covers biomass building and regulations. HM3 wins grant for briquette tests The Oregon Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Center awarded biomass torrefaction company HM3 Energy Inc. an $86,000 grant to support emissions testing of its torrefied biomass
A hammer blow to your operating costs. The hammer mill Granulex™ is the new dynamic grinding machine from Bühler. Designed for ultimate power, Granulex™ delivers high capacity grinding up to 15 t/h for wood and 75 t/h for biomass. Heavy design and supreme ease of maintenance minimize downtime, so you can make maximum use of this productivity. It’s an investment in quality that is sure to show a rapid return – and deliver a hammer blow to your operating costs.
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Innovations for a better world.
briquetting technology. The company began densifying torrefied biomass this fall with a 50,000 ton-per-year densification machine at its demonstration facility in Troutdale, Ore. The aim is to produce hydrophobic briquettes. The goal for the first test run is to produce briquettes that can withstand one-hour immersion in water. The companyâ€™s overall goal is to produce briquettes that can be immersed in water for up to 24 hours. Community development entities fund pellet project WNC & Associates Inc., Wells Fargo Bank N.A., Rural Development Partners and Coastal Enterprises have collaborated to provide The Westervelt Company with $55.5 million in new markets tax credit (NMTC) financing for the $71 million construction of a wood pellet plant in
Aliceville, Ala. The NMTC program is designed to stimulate economic and community development in low-income communities. The facility is expected to generate more than $37 million in annual revenue. Westervelt will purchase feedstock for the facility from the local Southern Yellow Pine timber market. Construction on the project is underway, and is scheduled to be complete in mid-2013.
a feasibility study regarding the use of wood pellets, slash, forestry byproducts or other biomass fuel to generate heat and power for use on campus. The study will also confirm that the recommended system meets regulatory requirements set forth by the stateâ€™s Department of Environmental Quality and other state and federal agencies. The feasibility study could pave the way for the university to install a 1.2 MW combined-heat-and-power system capable of generating 100 percent of the campusâ€™s power requirements and filling 70 percent of its heat requirement.
University considers cogeneration system The USDA awarded a $250,000 grant to Southern Oregon University to conduct
SHARE YOUR INDUSTRY NEWS: To be included in the Business Briefs, send information (including photos and logos, if available) to Industry Briefs, Pellet Mill Magazine, 308 Second Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203. You may also email information to email@example.com. Please include your name and telephone number in all correspondence.
Pellet News Mitigating the risk of dust fire, explosion Excess dust in pellet production facilities can create fire and explosion hazards. To help plants manage that risk, the Wood Pellet Association of Canada has published a report that walks plant management and staff through steps they can take to assess and mitigate that risk. The report, titled “Determination of Explosibility of Dust Layers in Pellet Manufacturing SOURCE: WOOD PELLET ASSOCIATION OF CANADA Plants,” discusses risk assessment, dust sampling and categorization, dust explosion risk reduction and ways to mitigate the impact of an explosion, should one occur. The document outlines a dust management scheme that aims to mitigate these risks at a minimal cost. Establishing a minimum explosible concentration of dust is integral to determining this risk, and is highly dependent on particle shape sedimentation speed and spatial distribution.
Think an explosion will never happen in your facility?
Enova Energy plans 3 pellet projects Enova Energy Group LLC is building three wood pellet projects in Georgia and South Carolina. The company has also created a subsidiary, Enova Wood Pellet Group LLC, which has a dedicated management team that will focus exclusively on the wood pellet industry. Each plant will have an annual production capacity of 450,000 metric tons, or a combined capacity of 1.35 million metric tons. Pellets produced at the facility will be exported to Europe from Savannah, Ga. The projects are expected to cost $330 million. Enova will meet 80 percent of that cost with debt. Although these plants represent Enova’s first development in the wood pellet industry, the company expects to expand its presence in the market with additional production sites to increase its pellet production capacity by an additional 2 million metric tons.
Dust and gas explosions are deadly and commercially devastating. Many facilities are at risk, but just don’t know it. Fike is a global leader in the development and manufacture of reliable explosion protection solutions. And we offer a wide range of explosibility tests designed to assist you in identifying costly explosion hazards.
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16 PELLET MILL MAGAZINE | FALL 2012
Pellet News » Canadian coal generating capacity Region
Ontario Alberta Saskatchewan Nova Scotia New Brunswick Manitoba Total
Number of Coal Plants
Number of Coal Units
4 7 3 4 2 1 21
15 18 9 8 2 1 53
CoalCoal-Generating Generating Average Capacity Capacity (MWtot) (MWe) 6,459 32,521 6,397 11,736 1,822 3,879 1,308 2,463 537 4,549 98 5,629 16,621 60,777
Portion of Total MWe CoalGenerating Capacity 39 38 11 8 3 1 100
Canada explores GHG emissions reduction A report published by the Wood Pellet Association of Canada demonstrates there is significant opportunity for the Canadian wood pellet industry if the Canadian power industry continues to move away from coal. There are, however, several hurdles that must be overcome. Specifically, the Canadian power market is closely integrated with the U.S., which means the transformation of Canada’s power industry can’t occur in isolation. The lack of firm U.S. policy, therefore, could negatively impact Canada’s policy, including its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals. The Canadian government has proposed to regulate GHG emissions from coal-
fired power plants, which has sparked the Canadian sector to find ways to reduce emissions. The proposed regulations are scheduled to become active next year for new projects, and in 2015 for older plants. Canada currently has 21 coal-fired power plants, and each currently has three options to meet GHG reduction goals: convert to natural gas, install carbon capture and storage, or cofire with biomass. The report compares conversion options and includes different methods of cofiring and torrefaction. It also addresses the Canadian biomass supply.
FALL 2012 | PELLET MILL MAGAZINE 17
ÂŤ Pellet News New plant under development in Georgia General Biofuels Georgia forest ownership Georgia LLC is constructing a $60 million wood pellet plant in Sandersville, Ga., capable of producing 440,000 tons of industrial-grade wood pellets per year. The facility is expected to begin operations during the first quarter of 2014. Feedstock for the plant will be sourced from Georgia timberlands and local lumber producers. Pellets produced at the facility will be shipped via rail to the Port of Savannah, where they will be transloaded for export to Europe. The pellets will be sold to a major European utility under a long-term contract. â€œGeneral Biofuelsâ€™ location to Sandersville is great news for central Georgia,â€? said Chris Cummiskey, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. â€œThe biofuels industry in Georgia is growing by leaps and bounds. We have more commercial timberland than any other state in the country, as well as the workforce and the logistics infrastructure needed to move the product quickly and efficiently to market.â€?
C O N V E Y
Coast Guard to explore pellet potential in Alaska The U.S. Coast Guard is working to reduce the heating costs of its larger Alaskan facilities. The effort is focused on converting from heating oil to wood pellets. The Coast Guard recently signed an interagency agreement with the U.S. Forest Service to support its goal and other forest product and renewable energy initiatives. Under the agreement, Coast Guard engineer and biomass export Robert Derring and USFS wood biomass and stewardship program manager Dan Parrent will work with the USDAâ€™s Southeast Alaska forest products and renewable energy workgroups, the Alaska Division of Forestry, Alaska Southeast Conference and the Alaska Energy Authority. Work completed under the agreement will focus on developing a strategy and action plant to convert to biomass. The group will also identify deficiencies in the regional logistics and production supply chains. Wood pellet use by Coast Guard facilities has the potential to create a large commercial demand, which would provide an anchor client for wood pellets, enabling further development of the pellet industry in southeast Alaska.
Q U A L I T Y
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