EIA: 630,000 tons of densified biomass fuel produced in April

By Erin Voegele | August 03, 2018

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing that U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 630,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in April, with sales reaching 600,000 tons.

The data was released as part of the July edition of EPA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report, which includes data for March. The EIA collected data from 87 operating manufacturers of densified biomass fuel to complete the report. The report does not include data from facilities with annual capacities of less than 10,000 tons, which report data annually rather than monthly.

The 87 manufacturers that submitted data in February have a combined annual production capacity of 11.94 million tons per year and collectively had an equivalent of 2,019 full-time employees.

In April, respondents purchased 1.11 million tons of raw biomass feedstock, produced 630,000 million tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 600,000 million tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 114,115 tons of heating pellets and 512,762 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales reached 119,636 tons at an average price of $146.43 per ton. Exports reached 478,246 tons at an average price of $186.20 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard wood pellets reached 255,752 tons in April, up from 225,990 tons in March. Inventories of heating pellets reached 355,438 tons in April, up from 345,615 tons in March.

Data gathered by the EIA shows total U.S. densified biomass fuel production capacity reached 12.52 million metric tons, including 11.91 million tons listed as currently operating or temporarily not in operation. This includes 2.43 million tons of capacity in the East, 9.24 million tons of capacity in the South, and 845,020 tons of capacity in the West. An additional 483,700 tons of capacity is currently listed as planned or under construction.

Facilities currently listed as planned or under construction include a 37,000-ton-per-year facility in Maine under development by F.E. Wood & Sons-Natural Energy, a 105,000-ton-per-year facility in Alabama under development by MRE Crossville LLC, a 340,000-ton-per-year plant in Georgia under development by Blue Sky Biomass Georgia LLC, and a 1,700-ton-per-year facility in New Mexico under development by Mt. Taylor-WoodYouRecycle.