EIA: 640,000 tons of densified biomass fuel sold in February

By Erin Voegele | June 05, 2018

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing that U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 570,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in February, with sales reaching 640,000 tons during the month.

The data was released as part of the May edition of EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report, which includes data for February. The EIA collected data from 87 operating manufacturers of densified biomass fuel to complete the report. The report does not include data from facilities with capacities of less than 10,000 tons per year, which report data annually rather than monthly.

The 87 manufacturers that submitted data in February reported have a combined annual production capacity of 11.79 million tons and collectively had an equivalent of 1,964 full-time employees.

In February, the respondents purchased 1.09 million tons of raw biomass feedstock, produced 570,000 million tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 640,000 million tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 121,949 tons of heating pellets and 450,185 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel reached 129,103 tons, at an average price of $148.82 per ton. Export sales reached 509,868 tons, at an average price of $166.77 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard wood pellets reached 216,870 tons in February, up from 212,304 tons in January. Inventories of utility wood pellets fell to 255,172 tons in February, down from 256,449 tons in January.

Data gathered by the EIA shows total U.S. densified biomass fuel production capacity reached 11.91 million tons per year in February, including 11.81 million tons listed as currently operating or temporarily not in operation. This includes 2.43 million tons of capacity in the East, 8.69 million tons in the South and 797,020 tons in the West. An additional 38,700 tons of capacity is listed as planned or under construction.

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 and a 1,700-ton-per-year facility in New Mexico under development by Mt. Taylor-WoodYouRecycle.