Business Briefs

By Pellet Mill Magazine | December 04, 2018

Sumitomo to build South Korea pellet-fueled power plant
Sumitomo SHI FW has been awarded a contract by SK Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd. for design and supply of SMG Energy’s biomass power plant to be located in Gunsan City in South Korea. Commercial operation of the new plant is scheduled for December 2020.

SFW will design and supply the 100 MWe CFB steam generator and auxiliary equipment for the boiler island. The CFB steam generator will be designed to burn 100 percent wood pellets, while meeting applicable environmental regulatory requirements. SFW has supplied over 30 CFB steam generators to South Korea, and the Gunsan plant will be the fourth firing biomass as its primary fuel.

Enviva to supply pellets to converted Japan power plant
Oct. 31, Enviva announced that wood pellet off-take contract agreements with Mitsubishi Corp. are now firm. The announcement follows news released by Mitsubishi indicating construction is underway on a biomass power plant conversion in Japan.

Conditions precedent to Enviva’s previously announced take-or-pay off-take contracts to supply 630,000 metric tons per year of wood pellets to a Japanese customer have been satisfied and the agreements are now firm, the company said. Under the terms of the agreements with Mitsubishi, Enviva will be the exclusive, long-term imported biomass fuel suppliers to Aioi Bioenergy Corp., a joint venture between Mitsubishi Corp. Power Ltd. and Kansai Electric Power Co. Inc.

According to Enviva, deliveries under the contracts are scheduled to begin in late 2022 and continue for at least 15 years.

Simultaneous to Enviva’s announcement, Mitsubishi Corp. subsidiary Mitsubishi Corp. Power Ltd. announced it had begun work on a biomass power generation plant in western Japan, a project being executed through Aioi Bioenergy, and will be fired solely on Enviva-supplied wood pellets.

Unit 2 of Aioi Power Station in Hyogo Prefecture will be converted from the use of heavy or crude oil. Mitsubishi said the unit has been offline since April 1, but will resume operations once the conversion is complete. The unit is expected to begin generating power using biomass fuel in January 2023, and operate for a 20-year period.

Global Pellet to launch pellet brokering platform
Global Pellet Inc. announced it has launched a website aimed at connecting buyers and sellers of wood pellets.

Global Pellet is a Michigan-registered corporation focused on facilitating international trade within the energy industry. On the new website,, wood pellet producers can register their businesses and products, and then be matched with purchase requests from registered buyers.
Registration is by invitation only.  End sellers and end buyers should send requests to register to to request or offer products.

Ring receives SFI President's Award
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. announced that Bettina Ring has been named recipient of the 2018 SFI President’s Award.

Virginia’s secretary of agriculture and forestry and an SFI board member, Ring is being recognized for her commitment to encouraging diversity in the forest sector, and leadership in advancing sustainable forestry. Ring is the first woman to be appointed secretary of agriculture and forestry in Virginia, overseeing two agencies along with the Department of Forestry. Ring was appointed to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s Cabinet in January. In October, she was appointed to Northam’s Conservation Cabinet, emphasizing the important role that the agriculture and forestry industries play in conservation and environmental stewardship in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Ring’s leadership is also supporting SFI’s efforts to encourage diversity in the forest sector. Prior to her current position, Ring was Virginia's state forester.

Report shows Maine wood heat economic benefits
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Maine Forest Service recently released a report documenting the economic and environmental benefits of heating community, commercial and institutional buildings with modern wood chip and wood pellet technology and fuels produced in Maine.

The Maine Forest Service analyzed the use of wood fuels in calendar year 2017 in hospitals, campuses, schools, municipal buildings and private businesses across the state. In the past 10 years, over 100 new installations have been made, nearly always replacing imported heating oil.

Key findings of the analysis include savings in annual heating costs (versus average heating oil cost) was $5.5 million; direct spending on local fuels (wood pellets and wood chips instead of exporting fuel dollars for oil) was $6.3 million; and the total value of economic impact generated was $20.6 million.

Maine pellet project awarded $200,000 grant
A proposed wood pellet plant in Maine was recently awarded a $200,000 grant through the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program. The REAP award was announced by Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine.
According to information released by Pingree’s office, T&D Wood Energy LLC was awarded $200,000 in REAP funding to support the development of a $5.7 million wood pellet plant in Sanford, Maine.

The midsized pellet plant will be built adjacent to an operating white pine sawmill. The pellet mill will utilize all the wood residues coming from that sawmill. It will also purchase additional wood waste residues from other sawmills in the region.

A USDA fact sheet on the project states the project will generate more than 164 million kilowatt-hours annually, enough electricity to power 15,142 homes.

Pinnacle completes Alabama pellet plant acquisition 
Pinnacle Renewable Holdings Inc. has closed the previously announced acquisition of a 70 percent interest in an industrial wood pellet production facility in Aliceville, Alabama, from the Westervelt Co. Westervelt, a diversified land resources company, has retained a 30 percent interest in the Aliceville facility.

The plant has an annual production capacity of 270,000 metric tons. Approximately 210,000 metric tons per year of that capacity is committed under a long-term off-take contract to a major European utility.

Pinnacle and Westervelt are currently undertaking a capital spending program to improve safety, product quality and plant efficiencies.

Ørsted celebrates 50th anniversary of Studstrup Power Station
Ørsted is celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of Denmark’s largest power stations. The then coal-fired Studstrup Power Station was inaugurated in October 1968, and converted to fire wood pellets in October 2016.

The power station’s primary task is to produce green district heating for some 106,000 Aarhus homes. According to Ørsted, the facility consists of two units. While unit 3 is fueled by biomass, unit four is a spare unit fueled by coal. Unit three has the capacity to produce 360 MW of electricity and 510 megajouls per second of heat.

As part of the conversion project, a storage silo with the capacity to store 65,000 metric tons of wood pellets was constructed at the power station, along with the installation of more than 800 meters of closed conveyor belts to transport wood pellets from the harbor to the silo and into the boiler.
Ørsted has set a goal to phase out its use of coal completely by 2023.