Putting Together a Pellet Mill Map
For the past couple months, I’ve been putting together a list of pellet mills in the U.S. and Canada for Biomass Power & Thermal’s first pellet mill map, set for release with the May issue of the magazine. I’ve assembled a list of more than 200 U.S. mills and almost 60 Canadian ones. But I’m not done yet.
I think I’m nearing the end of my list of U.S. pellet mills because I’m running out of places to check for directories that I can incorporate into mine. I was surprised at first to find that Canada had significantly fewer plants, but it does make sense. I do have a ways to go before I’m finished with Canada’s list, but the country exports upwards of 80 percent of its pellets. That means mills with much larger production capacities than mills that are bagging their pellets for sale on domestic markets, which the majority of U.S. producers do as of right now. I’ll find out if my hypothesis is correct once my editorial team begins making calls to all the plants in a couple weeks, but I think that’s what we’ll discover.
We’ll call each one to get information on their operations, such as capacity, operation status (Idle, operational, etc.), feedstock and whether or not they export their product. I expect the size of the list to fluctuate significantly once we begin contacting the mills on it, as we’ll most likely find plants that are closed, as well as companies that have multiple locations I may have missed.
I’m excited about this map and I think it’s a great project. I myself will find it very useful and I suspect the pellet industry will feel the same. I’ve gotten countless inquiries from readers in the past few weeks, wondering about pellet markets and project feasibility and viability. The interest in pellet production in the U.S. is incredible and almost everyone wants to know about opportunities for exporting to Europe. It seems to be a great market to be in right now and it will only get better.
Our pellet mill map will make its debut at the International Biomass Conference & Expo April 16-19 in Denver, Colo. We have a lot more work to do on this map, but I’m already proud of it.