EIA: 760,000 tons of densified biomass fuel produced in August

By Erin Voegele | December 07, 2018

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing that U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 760,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in August, with sales reaching 730,000 tons.

The data was released as part of the November edition of EPA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report, which includes data for August. 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. These smaller facilities report data annually rather than monthly.

The 82 manufacturers who submitted data for August have a combined annual production capacity of 11.76 million tons per year and collectively had an equivalent of 2,084 full-time employees.

In August, respondents purchased 1.41 million tons of raw biomass feedstock, produced 760,000 million tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 730,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 161,512 tons of heating pellets and 601,728 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel reached 190,000 tons in August at an average price of $155.62 per ton. Exports reached 540,000 tons in August, at an average price of $158.81 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard wood pellets fell to 363,835 tons in August, down from 373,693 tons in July. Inventories of utility pellets also fell, from 425,778 tons in July, to 396,782 tons in August.

Data gathered by the EIA shows that total U.S. densified biomass fuel production capacity reached 12.64 million metric tons in August, including 2.43 million tons of capacity in the East, 9.37 million tons of capacity in the South and 839,020 tons of capacity in the West. According to the EIA, 11.99 million tons of U.S. densified biomass fuel capacity is currently listed as operating or temporarily not in operation. An additional 498,700 tons of capacity is listed as planned or under construction.

Facilities listed as planned or under construction in August include a 37,000-ton-per-year facility in Maine under development by F.E. Wood & Sons-Natural Energy, 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.