In Pursuit of Pellet Producers
During the last couple of weeks, the Biomass Magazine/Pellet Mill Magazine team has been working feverishly to connect with U.S. and Canadian pellet producers to update our database.
We started this project last year, and it was an enormous undertaking. We took every list that we could find of past, present and future pellet manufacturers and attempted to get ahold of them to gather some basic data, the most difficult part of which was determining the status of plants that we could not get a hold of (ex., finding evidence of a 20,000-ton pellet plant operating in Virginia in 2006, but their web site is down and listed telephone number isn’t working). This is important to us, of course, because we want to be as accurate as possible.
After the first time around, the result was the debut of our U.S. and Canada pellet producer map, which is also online here. The data collection/confirmation process has been much easier this time around, because for most plants we now know who to contact and how, but pellet plants that we don’t yet have on the map do continue to pop up. That includes proposed plants, and plants that just weren’t on our radar.
Last year, we asked producers whether or not they are exporting or plan to export, and to what country. This year, we added an additional question: what their planned port is. It’s been interesting to discover the number of plants that are or are formulating plans to export. Europe of course is most common, but I’m seeing a lot more Asia.
This map, I think, is invaluable to a number of different groups. Developers and pellet producers themselves, but also to potential European buyers who might be scoping out potential wood pellet suppliers, and businesses/institutions and residences using pellets.
We have about a week left of data collection efforts. So if you’re a pellet plant and you haven’t heard from us by the end of next week, reach out to Kolby Hoagland, our data and content manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will add that every operating pellet plant receives two free passes to the International Biomass Conference & Expo in Minneapolis, April 8-10, an opportunity that most of you won’t want to miss.