PelletNews EU pellet demand, production continues growth EU pellet production (in million metric tons) 2006
SOURCE: USDA FAS GAIN, EU BIOFUELS ANNUAL REPORT 2013
The European Union recently published its annual biofuels report for 2013 with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Serviceâ€™s Global Agricultural Information Network, reporting European wood pellet consumption is expected to increase markedly, reaching 20 to 32 million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe). The report estimated 2008 consumption at 2.5 Mtoe. Both domestic production of pellets within Europe and imports have increased in recent years. In 2006, the E.U. produced approximately 3.52 million metric tons of wood pellets. Production is expected to reach 10.15 million metric tons this year, and increase to 10.3 million metric tons in 2014. Imports measured only 800,000 metric tons in 2006, but are projected to grow to 6 million metric tons this year and 7 million metric tons next year.
26 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2013
Consumption has also grown rapidly, from 4.606 million metric tons in 2006 to 14.3 million metric tons last year. In 2013, the EU is expected to consume 16 million metric tons of wood pellets, with consumption growing to 17.1 million metric tons next year. The U.K. is currently Europeâ€™s largest consumer of pellets, with 4.54 million metric tons of demand expected this year. Denmark and the Netherlands round out the top three consumers, with 2.5 million metric tons and 2 million metric tons of consumption expected this year, respectively. Sweden, Germany and Belgium also consume large volumes of pellets. Consumption in the U.K., the Netherlands and Belgium is dominated by large-scale power plants, while demand in Denmark and Sweden results from household and mediumscale use.
MSW pelleting project planned in Maryland Washington County, Md., recently announced it is forming a public-private partnership with America First Inc. to launch a two-phase waste-to-renewable energy initiative. During the first phase, a facility will be constructed to convert municipal solid waste (MSW) into refuse-derived fuel pellets. That facility will include recycling, sorting, shredding and pelletizing operations, with all nonrecyclable components of MSW processed into fuel pellets. The proposed phase two component of the project will include the development of a gasification plant to convert a portion of the MSW pellets into drop-in biofuels. Julie Pippel, Washington County director for environmental management, said the first phase of the initiative is currently expected to break ground in 2014, once all permitting requirements are met. Construction on phase two of the project would commence 18 months after phase one. According to Pippel, pellets produced at the facility will be sold into various markets, including the industrial sector for use as fuel in boiler systems and kilns. Washington County will provide the facility with the MSW it collects. There are also plans to mine the landfill to recover buried MSW in the future.