Biomass Industries Press On

Summarizing stories from the May/June issue of Biomass Magazine, Editor Anna Simet thanks readers, advertisers and contributors for supporting industry trade journal during COVID-19 pandemic.
By Anna Simet | May 12, 2020

Suffice to say, it has been an unprecented couple of months here in U.S. and the across world. At Biomass Magazine, we have quickly adjusted to an all-remote working dynamic, and we want you to know that we remain committed to bringing you exclusive, quality and up-to-date information, regarding all facets of the bioenergy industry. I highly recommend visiting our website,, as our online news editor, Erin Voegele, has been working tirelessly to bring to our readers relevant, timely news each and every day.

As you might imagine, we have included some commentary and information on COVID-19 in this issue, which is themed feedstock sourcing, harvest and transport. While heat and power, pellet/wood fuel, renewable natural gas and other energy producers have been recognized as essential workforces and continue operations, there are many questions as to what the near- and short-term future holds, and many unknowns. For example—the impact on new and under construction projects and continued market growth, fuel demand, consumption and competition with plunging oil prices, fiber supply and constraints, and the list goes on. While there are many unknowns at this point, we will be sure to get the best information we can from the experts, and we’ll follow these topics closely.

Moving onto the stories we have for you this month, first I’ll mention the contribution on page 26, authored by Andrew Copley, senior analyst with Forisk Consulting. Forisk recently acquired the North American Wood Fiber Review, now known as the Forisk Wood Fiber Review, and moving forward will be providing us with exclusive previews to these quarterly reports. In this article, Copley discusses the availability and impact of Canadian wood fiber on the country’s wood pellet industry. Something important to note, Copley points out, is that the PFPI-CAN prices in the report “do not reflect the impact of COVID-19, which continues to accelerate throughout North America; further challenges to the fiber supply are expected.”

As of the end of March 2020, Copley adds, no major Canadian wood pellet producer had noted significant impacts from the coronavirus, as operations at pellet mills remain largely unaffected and most capital projects continue to move forward.

Moving along, on page 14, you will find a graphics- and information-packed feature, “Crunching the Numbers,” in which I compiled all kinds of data on the U.S. pellet heating season that has nearly come to an end. In it, you’ll find comparisons of heating degree days of this season to the last, differences in sales, revenue, fiber costs and more. A special thanks to the U.S. EIA and Pellet Fuels Institute for helping provide or compile some of that data.

The final story I’ll mention is Senior Editor Ron Kotrba’s article, “Delivering Efficiencies,” on page 20, which explores some recent innovations in harvesting and transporting biomass feedstocks, both woody and ag, and their potential role in reducing costs of the biomass end user. Luke Plume, sales manager with Hydex, tells Kotrba the company’s innovations were the result of seeing  “a gap where we could save companies a lot of money in operating costs.”

From there, Hydex began focusing on designing equipment focused on reducing costs in the forest, such as its LH45 Log Hauler With Trailer, the benefits of which Plume discusses in detail.

There is much more to read in this issue, but I will end on a note of thanks—to you, our readers, as well as our advertisers and supporters, expert interviewees, contributors and all the stakeholders who make these stories possible, for sticking with us during these uncertain times. We wish you continued wellness, and rest assured, our team is still here, working hard to bring you the news you want and need.


Author: Anna Simet