The 2013 Pellet Industry in One Word
The following words could describe the 2012 pellet industry: potential, expansion or excitement. Over the past year, there has been a positive buzz surrounding the industry. We’ve repeatedly heard market analysts speak of the demand by European utilities to acquire sustainably produced wood pellet fuel. We heard about proposed large-scale pellet production plants, and better yet, we heard about construction updates or completion announcements of large-scale pellet facilities.
The same can be said for the shipping ports up and down both the east and west coasts of North America. If a port-based announcement wasn’t about a retrofit or new build start-up project, it was about a city or port commission declaring its interest in the pellet export business.
This is not an industry looking back to better times or an industry surviving a crisis. We don’t hear about operational pellet manufacturing companies filing for bankruptcy or port authorities shuttering a pellet export terminal. In the domestic markets, we hear about hospitals performing a fuel switch to pellets, pellet stove rebate success stories and state-of-the-art pellet delivery trucks. While research and development is always happening, the industry isn’t mired in a quest for proven technology, it already has it.
2012 was a good year for pellets, and because of the small- and large-scale development of new production, storage or shipping facilities, all indications point to 2013 being even better. If I had to guess at a descriptive word for the coming year, I’d start with this: booming.