FutureMetrics paper outlines its phase-zero feasibility analyses

By Erin Voegele | August 29, 2013

FutureMetrics LLC has published a white paper outlining how its pre-feasibility, “phase-zero” analyses for prospective pellet export projects can provide assistance in defining whether or not a project is feasible before serious financial resources are committed.

According to information released by the company, European demand for wood pellets is forecast to quadruple over the next few years, with some estimates projecting growth to increase from 4 million metric tons to 20 million metric tons by 2017. FutureMetrics likens the increase to a gold rush “attracting ‘prospectors’ of all types who see fortunes to be made from simply turning wood fiber into wood pellets.”

While the company noted it has produced a number of pre-feasibility analyses for proposed pellet projects, in some cases those analyses were conducted too late in the development process, resulting in wasted time, resources and money.

According to FutureMetrics, its phase-zero feasibility assessment is a low-cost anlaysis that can help a “prospector” prove the viability of a project. Within the white paper, the company stresses that the process of developing a pellet project has two primary components—location and reliable, consistent production technology.

While all new projects are expected to incorporate the best proven technologies, the paper specifies that project location is the key to an optimal cost structure, as location determines wood costs, transportation cost and utility costs.

As part of its phase-zero services, FutureMetrics said its partner, Innovative Natural Resources Solutions LLC, will conduct a site wood study. The FutureMetrics team also completes a high-level site analysis that incorporates permitting, zoning and other siting issues. The team also addresses factors related to transportation, port storage and ship loading, and produces a financial analysis that identifies and quantifies critical risks and estimates a projected development costs and timelines.

A full copy of the white paper is available here.