Swedish facility warms up pellet production in Russia

By Chris Hanson | January 31, 2014

Swedish forestry company RusForest AB has announced the start of wood pellet production at the LDK-3 sawmill at Arkhangelsk in the northwestern region of Russia.

RusForest and its partner, AS Hekotek, are completing construction, and the facility is now entering a test-production phase. “I congratulate our project team on starting the pellet mill ahead of schedule,” said Matti Lehtipuu, CEO of RusForest. “The successful pellet production launch accelerates our path to profitability and gives us solid ground to further develop our core Arkhangelsk assets, including reviewing options for the sawmill itself.”

Hekotek has been quite an active company during the recent years to develop new technological solutions the wood working industry and wood pellet manufacturing to provide RusForest with a “new generation pellet mill,” Lehtipuu said. RusForest’s project team had prior experience working with Hekotek, so the communication was efficient and transparent throughout the project, which resulted starting up ahead of schedule, he added. The facility is now starting its testing phase to fine-tune and adjust the process.

After the testing phase, the €12 million ($16.2 million) plant will produce 100,000 metric tons of sawmill-derived pellets when it reaches full capacity by the end of March. The pellets will be exported to Europe and allow RusForest to monetize its sawmill by-products.  RusForest will focus on making the Arkhangelsk facility a success before contemplating future pellet projects, Lehtipuu said.

Production of the pellet facility began in June 2013, when RusForest and AS Hekotek partnered on the project for the LDK-3 sawmill in northwest Russia.