EIA: 600,000 tons of densified biomass fuel sold in January

By Erin Voegele | May 09, 2018

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently announced that U.S. manufacturers of densified biomass fuel reported producing 620,000 tons and selling 600,000  tons of fuel products in January.

The data was released as part of the April edition of the EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report, which includes data for January. 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 monthly data reported having a total annual production capacity of 11.83 million tons. Collectively, they had an equivalent of 2,085 full-time employees.

In January, the respondents purchased 1.18 million tons of raw biomass feedstock, produced 620,000 tons of densified biomass fuel, and sold 600,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 136,593 tons of heating pellets and 481,705 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel reached 235,220 tons and averaged $154.76 per ton. Export sales reached 357,603 tons and averaged $169.01 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard wood pellets fell to 212,304 tons in January, down from 282,844 tons in December. Inventories of utility pellets increased from 290,707 tons in December to 356,449 tons in January.

Data gathered by the EIA shows total U.S. densified biomass fuel capacity reached 11.87 tons in January, including 11.76 million tons listed as currently operating or temporarily not in operation. This includes 2.43 million tons of capacity in the East, 8.63 million tons in the South and 797,020 tons in the West. An additional 38,700 tons of capacity is currently 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.