Platts announces industrial wood pellet price assessments

By Platts | August 15, 2014

Platts, a leading global energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information provider, has expanded its electric power offerings to include a weekly spot price assessment for Europe-delivered industrial wood pellets, which are used alone or in combination with coal to fuel power plants, and a suite of U.K. wood pellet profitability spreads at different fuel efficiencies.

“Increasingly, the European power industry is using organic plant matter, known as biomass, as a source of renewable energy, and our new price assessments are aimed at bringing greater transparency to this growing market,” said Ben Legg, Platts commercial director for European power and gas.

The new price assessment – Platts CIF NW Europe Industrial Wood Pellet – reflects the physical spot market value as delivered to northwest Europe of industrial grade 2* wood pellet supplies with a net calorific value of 17 gigajoules per metric ton (GJ/mt) and typical sulfur and ash contents of 0.1 percent and 1 percent, respectively. The assessment is quoted in U.S. dollars per metric ton for delivery 7-45 days forward from the date of publication.

Complementing the weekly spot price assessment is a suite of weekly Platts U.K. wood pellet profitability  spreads, which reflect the theoretical profit margins from burning wood pellets to generate electricity at carbon-sensitive fuel efficiencies** of 30 percent, 35 percent and 40 percent.

“Europe’s annual demand for industrial wood pellets is approximately 12 million tons, and we see this increasing as power plants work to meet mandated lower carbon emissions standards,” said Gareth Carpenter, Platts managing editor of coal. “Keep an eye on the U.S., as increasingly the U.K. and Europe are looking to the Americas as a key source of wood pellets supply.”

The Platts CIF NW Europe Industrial Wood Pellet weekly price assessment is underpinned by Platts’ time-tested, robust methodology and published each Friday after the close of the physical markets.

Platts’ wood pellet assessments and biomass market information may be found in its publications Coal Trader International, European Power Daily and Power in Europe. Platts’ biomass coverage also includes conferences, such as the 2014 Platts European Power Summit and Biomass Power Generation conferences held since 2012.

*Industrial grade 2 refers to an international standard of wood pellet specifications as defined by the Initiative of Wood Pellet Buyers Group (now the Sustainable Biomass Partnership), and is an industry-accepted quality of wood pellets used for industrial purposes.