EIA: 670,000 tons of densified biomass fuel produced in October

By Erin Voegele | January 29, 2018

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently announced U.S. manufacturers of densified biomass fuel reported producing 670,000 tons of product in October, with sales reaching 640,000 tons.

The data was released as part of the January edition of the EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report, which includes data from October. To compile the report, the EIA collected data from 88 operating manufacturers of densified biomass fuel. Together, those producers had a total production capacity of 11.92 million tons per year and collectively had an equivalent of 2,124 full-time employees.  

According to the report, nearly 12.71 million tons of densified biomass fuel capacity was in place in October, including nearly 11.99 million tons of capacity listed as currently operating or temporarily not in operation. On a regional basis, there were 2.41 million tons of capacity in the East, 9.39 tons in the South and 904,320 tons in the West. An additional 163,500 tons of capacity was listed as planned or under construction, including a 37,000 tons of capacity under development by F.E. Wood & Sons-Natural Energy in Maine, 4,500 tons of capacity under development by Enginuity Worldwide LLC in Missouri, 120,000 tons of capacity under development by NWP Jasper LLC in Tennessee, and 2,000 tons of capacity under development by Mt. Taylor-WoodYouRecycle in New Mexico.

Respondents reported purchasing 1.16 million tons of raw biomass feedstock in October and producing 670,000 tons of densified biomass fuel, including 152,978 tons of heating pellets and 520,664 tons of utility pellets.

According to the EIA, the respondents reported selling 640,000 million tons of densified fuel in October. Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel reached 221,853 tons and averaged $153.05 per ton. Exports reached 415,664 tons and averaged $144.07 per ton.

U.S. inventories of premium/standard wood pellets fell to 419,704 in October, down from 581,899 tons in September. Inventories of utility wood pellets reached 354,006 tons in October, up from 194,822 tons in September.

The EIA notes that the information collected in its Monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report does not include data from smaller facilities with capacities of less than 10,000 tons per year. Those facilities report data annually rather than monthly.  

Additional data is available on the EIA website