Pellet consumption in Denmark projected to grow
The Danish government has filed a report on its domestic market for wood pellets with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Global Agricultural Information Network. According to the report, Denmark is the largest importer of wood pellets in the world, with imports expected to increase from 2 million metric tons in 2012 to 3 million metric tons in 2020.
The GAIN report specifies that wood pellets are used in Denmark to fuel small residential boilers, medium-sized district heating plants, and large combined-heat-and-power (CHP) plants, with CHP plants representing the primary driver of growth since 2010.
While some pellets are produced domestically in Denmark, most are imported. The report estimates that Danish production of wood pellets has averaged between 130,000 metric tons and 200,000 metric tons annually since 2000, primarily from residue feedstock sourced from the furniture and wood processing industries. Rapidly growing use by CHP plants coupled with a limited domestic feedstock supply has caused significant growth in pellet imports in recent years. In 2012, the country imported 2 million metric tons of wood pellets, valued at $350 million. During the first seven months of 2013, the Danish government has reported a 10 percent increase in pellet imports.
Denmark currently imports most of its pellets from the Baltic Region, with 960,000 metric tons imported from the Baltics in 2012. The country also imported 348,000 metric tons from Russia last year. The GAIN report notes that imports from the U.S. are currently marginal, equating to only 38,000 metric tons in 2012.
Moving forward, the report said that sustainability will be a key factor in determining which exporting countries benefit from growing demand. The Danish government is currently analyzing the sustainability of biomass supplies. The results of that study are expected to be ready at the end of the year. The analysis is expected to form the basis for future policy and funding initiatives.
Bu 2020. Denmark is expected to consume 3.17 million metric tons of pellets, with 600,000 tons of that volume consumed by residential customers and 2.57 million metric tons by the private sector. Domestic production is expected to hold steady at 150,000 metric tons, with imports reaching 3.1 million metric tons. Approximately 80,000 metric tons of wood pellets will be exported.