US pellet industry progresses
A report published by Wood Resources International found that the U.S. exported more wood pellets than Canada during the first six months of 2012. Although Canada was formerly the world leader in pellet exports, U.S. production has expanded rapidly. Exports from the southern region of the U.S. increased by 13 percent during the second quarter alone.
According to the report the U.S. has exported more than 1.5 million tons of pellets this year, and is on track to export 5.7 million tons per year by 2015.
Several U.S.-based pellet producers, namely, U.S. American Wood Fibers, Curran Renewable Energy and Marth Wood Shavings & Supply, have entered into an agreement to certify their pellets. The group will participate in a testing protocol and standards verification process developed by the Pellet Fuels Institute and American Lumber Standard Committee. Some of the characteristics analyzed include ash content and fuel density. Once verification is complete, participating mills will be able to label each bag of pellets with a certification sticker to indicate the grade of the fuel.