EIA: 780,000 tons of densified biomass fuel sold in September

By Erin Voegele | January 07, 2019

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing that U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 720,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in September, with sales reaching 780,000 tons.

The data was released as part of the December edition of EPA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report, which includes data for September. The EIA collected data from 82 operating manufacturers of densified biomass fuel to complete the report. The report does not include data from facilities with annual production capacities of less than 10,000 tons. These smaller facilities report data annually rather than monthly.

The 82 manufacturers who submitted data for September have a combined annual production capacity of 11.76 million tons and collectively had an equivalent of 2,088 full-time employees.

In September, respondents purchased 1.15 million tons of raw biomass feedstock, produced 72,000 million tons of densified biomass fuel, and sold 780,000 million tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 152,185 tons of heating pellets and 573,954 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales reached 218,008 tons at an average price of $157.56 per ton. Exports reached 556,948 tons at an average price of $168 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard wood pellets fell to 310,154 tons in September, down from 363,835 tons in August. Inventories of utility wood pellets fell to 382,607 tons, down from 396,782 ton in August.

Data gathered by the EIA shows that total U.S. densified biomass fuel production capacity reached 12.64 million tons in September, including 2.43 million tons in the East, 9.37 million tons in the South and 839,020 tons in the West. According to the EIA, 12.01 million tons listed as currently operating or temporarily not in operation. An additional 498,700 tons of capacity is listed as planned or under construction.

Facilities listed as planned or under construction in August include a 37,000-ton-per-year facility in Maine under development by F.E. Wood & Sons-Natural Energy, a 340,000-ton-per-year plant in Georgia under development by Blue Sky Biomass Georgia LLC, a 120,000-ton-per-year facility in Tennessee under development by MRE Jasper LLC, and a 1,700-ton-per-year facility in New Mexico under development by Mt. Taylor-WoodYouRecycle.