EIA: 700,000 tons of densified biomass fuel produced in July

By Erin Voegele | November 01, 2018

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing that U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 700,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in July, with sales reaching 570,000 million tons.

The data was released as part of the October edition of EPA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report, which includes data for July. The EIA collected data from 83 operating manufacturers of densified biomass fuel to complete the report. The report does not include data from facilities with annual production capacities of less than 10,000 tons, which report data annually rather than monthly.

The 83 manufacturers who submitted data for July have a combined annual production capacity of 11.77 million tons per year, and collectively had an equivalent of 2,079 full-time employees.

In July, respondents purchased 1.17 million tons of raw biomass feedstock, produced 700,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 570,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 126,210 tons of heating pellets and 574,155 tons of utility pellets.  

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel reached 132,686 tons in July, at an average price of $146.83 per ton. Exports reached 441,163 tons in July, at an average price of $185.28 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard wood pellets reached 372,394 tons in July, up from 366,064 tons in June. Inventories of utility pellets reached 411,647 tons in July, up from 283,197 tons in June.

Data gathered by the EIA shows that total U.S. densified biomass fuel production capacity reached 12.74 million tons in July, including 11.91 million tons of capacity listed as currently operating or temporarily not in operation. This includes 2.43 million tons of capacity in the East, 9.47 million tons of capacity in the South and 845,020 tons of capacity in the West. An additional 708,700 tons of capacity is listed as planned or under construction.

Facilities listed as planned or under construction in July include a 37,000-ton-per-year facility in Maine under development by F.E. Wood & Sons-Natural Energy, two 105,000-ton-per-year facilities in Alabama under development by MRE Crossville LLC, a 340,000-ton-per-year plant in Georgia under development by Blue Sky Biomass Georgia LLC, a 120,000-ton-per-year facility in Tennessee under development by MRE Jasper LLC, and a 1,700-ton-per-year facility in New Mexico under development by Mt. Taylor-WoodYouRecycle.