Company plans pellet plant in Brazil

By Anna Simet | January 25, 2017

Brazil’s Secretary of Economic Development, Science and Technology formally announced that company Butiá Indústria e Comércio de Pellets Ltda’s plans to construct a 36,000-ton wood pellet plant in the municipality of Butiá, Brazil.

Operating under Butiá Wood Pellets, the developer plans to sell its pellets, made from eucalyptus, into the domestic and export markets. When operational, it’s expected the plant will employ 12 and create 60 indirect jobs. According to a press release, the company has secured an environmental license by the city.

Brazil is current home to 16 pellet producers, according to a recent paper, “Trends and Challenges of Brazilian Pellets Industry Originated from Agroforestry,” published by São Paulo State University. They collectively produce just over 43,000 metric tons of wood pellets annually, despite having the capacity to produce four times that amount. The paper, which provides an overview of the country’s wood pellet sector and it’s growth and potential, states that the stagnation of pellet production in Brazil in recent years can be explained by three main factors, including lack of knowledge of the advantages of pellets as more efficient energy solution, the pellet business in Brazil is recent and the domestic market is still in a developing stage.

The study concludes that the Brazilian pellet industry is young, has great potential for expansion and could contribute to the strengthening of the Brazilian sustainable energy matrix, but needs “to develop the internal market of pellets to reduce industry idleness.”

Aside from Butia Wood Pellets, the most recent public announcement of a large-scale pellet plant being built in Brazil was in 2014, when Tanac announced it would build a 400,000-metric-ton pellet plant that, under a long-term agreement, would send output to Drax Power Ltd. in the United Kingdom. The plant had an initial projected production date of 2016, but when reached for comment on whether the plant was operating, the company declined to release any information at the current time due to confidentiality agreements.