EIA: 640,000 tons of densified biomass fuel produced in November

By Erin Voegele | March 02, 2018

On Feb. 28, the U.S. Energy Information Administration announced U.S. manufacturers of densified biomass fuel reported producing 640,000 million tons of product in November, and selling 670,000 tons. 

The data was released as part of the February edition of the EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report, which includes data from November. To compile the report, the EIA collected data from 87 operating manufactures of densified biomass fuel.

The EIA notes that the information collected in its Monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report does not include data from smaller facilities with capacities of less than 10,000 tons per year. Those facilities report data annually rather than monthly. 

The 87 producers that supplied data to the EIA for November had a total production capacity of 11.83 million tons per year and collectively had an equivalent of 2,102 full-time employees.

In November, the respondents said they purchased 1.15 million tons of raw biomass feedstock, produced 640,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 670,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 126,040 tons of heating pellets and 512,813 tons of utility pellets. According to the EIA, domestic sales reached 228,945 tons and averaged $152.74 per ton, while export sales reached 464,460 tons and averaged $134.96 per ton.

U.S. inventories of premium/standard wood pellets fell to 343,011 tons in November, down from 416,704 in October. Inventories of utility wood pellets increased slightly to 355,546 in November, up from 354,006 in October.

Data gathered by the EIA shows total U.S. capacity for densified biomass fuel was 12.71 million tons in November, including 11.99 million tons listed as currently operating or temporarily not in operation. An additional 163,500 tons of capacity is listed as planned or under construction.

On a regional basis, capacity in the East reached 2.41 million tons, with capacity in the South reaching 9.39 million tons, and capacity in the West totally 904,320 tons.

Facilities currently listed as planned or under construction include a 37,000-ton-per-year facility in Maine under development by F.E. Wood & Sons-Natural Energy; a 4,500-ton-per-year plant in Missouri under development by Enginuity Worldwide LLC; a 120,000-ton-per-year facility in Tennessee under development by NWP Jasper LLC; and a 2,000-ton-per-year facility in New Mexico under development by Mt. Taylor-WoodYouRecycle.

Additional data is available on the EIA website. https://www.eia.gov/biofuels/biomass/#dashboard