Monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report

Release date: July 10, 2017 | Next release date: August 14, 2017 | THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE Archive | Current report


Manufacturing facilities with capacity and status,

Status indicator:
currently operating
under construction/planned
temporarily not in operation



Table 1. Densified biomass fuel manufacturing facilities in the United States by state, region, and capacity,

download

Region State Name Operational status Annual capacity (tons per year)
Note: Planned/under construction facilities are expected to begin operations within the next year.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Form EIA-63C, Densified Biomass Fuel Report.


Highlights for April 2017

Data for two pellet types in Tables 4 and 5 were combined this month because of privacy concerns. The joint category is Wood Pellets Premium/Standard. These two pellet types will be combined for the rest of 2017.

As of April 2017, the monthly data collection included 89 operating manufacturers of densified biomass fuel. These manufacturers had a total production capacity of 12.07 million tons per year and collectively had an equivalent of 1,985 full-time employees.

In April 2017, the monthly respondents purchased 0.81 million tons of raw biomass feedstock, produced 0.48 million tons of densified biomass fuel, and sold 0.46 million tons of densified biomass fuel. Note that feedstock purchases do not directly relate to production in the same reporting period.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel in April 2017 were 0.07 million tons and averaged $145.61 per ton. Exports in April 2017 were 0.46 million tons and averaged $127.98 per ton.

Tables

Table 2. Number of operating densified biomass manufacturing facilities by U.S. region, full-time equivalent employees and capacity, download
Note: Does not include facilities under construction and/or planned or small facilities, which report annually.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Form EIA-63C, Densified Biomass Fuel Report.

Table 3. Feedstocks and average cost per ton for the manufacture of densified biomass products, download
Notes: The other residuals category includes bark, logging residues, wood chips, post consumer wood, unmerchantable wood, and other. Roundwood timber is generally logs harvested for industrial use from sustainably managed forests.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Form EIA-63C, Densified Biomass Fuel Report.

Table 4. Production of densified biomass fuel, (tons) download
Notes: Wood pellets, PFI certified includes: Wood pellets premium (PFI certified) and Wood pellets standard (PFI certified); Wood pellets, not certified includes: Wood pellets premium (not certified), Wood pellets standard (not certified), Wood pellets ENplus A1, Wood pellets ENplus A2 and other; Wood pellets, utility inlcudes: Wood pellets utility (not certified), Wood pellets utility (PFI certified) and Wood pellets ENplus B; Compressed bricks/logs includes: Compressed bricks, Compressed logs, and briquettes.
For information on the PFI (Pellet Fuel Institute) Certification Standards, see http://www.pelletheat.org/pfi-standards
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Form EIA-63C, Densified Biomass Fuel Report.

Table 5. Characteristics of densified biomass products, download
N/A = No production; W = Withheld to avoid disclosure of individual company data.
— = Data for January and February is unavailable.
Source: Form EIA-63C, Densified Biomass Fuel Report

Table 6. Inventories of densified biomass fuel, (tons) download
Notes: Wood pellets premium/standard includes: Premium bagged, Premium bulk, Standard bagged, Standard bulk, and other; Wood pellets, utility includes: Utility bulk; Compressed bricks/logs includes: Bricks and logs.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Form EIA-63C, Densified Biomass Fuel Report.

Table 7. Domestic sales and average price of densified biomass fuel, download
Note: Includes all product types sold in the United States, both retail and wholesale sales.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Form EIA-63C, Densified Biomass Fuel Report.

Table 8. Export sales and average price of densified biomass fuel, download
Note: Includes all product types exported, both retail and wholesale sales.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Form EIA-63C, Densified Biomass Fuel Report.

About the Densified Biomass Fuel Report

Form EIA-63C, Densified Biomass Fuel Report, a new EIA survey launched in January 2016, gathers information on wood pellet and other densified biomass fuel production, sales, and inventory levels from approximately 90 operating pellet fuel manufacturing facilities in the United States. Facilities with an annual capacity of 10,000 tons or more per year are required to report monthly. Smaller facilities (those with a capacity of less than 10,000 tons per year) report their production capacity annually.

EIA proposed this survey in early 2014, and got feedback from the industry on how to best collect the data. EIA received approval from the Office of Management and Budget to conduct the new survey on August 28, 2015.

Densified biomass fuel, a growing energy source in the United States, consists primarily of compressed wood pellets, briquettes, and logs. These fuels are easy and economical to store and transport. The manufacture of wood pellets utilizes wood residues from sustainably managed forests as well as high-quality wood waste from a variety of industrial activities such as construction and logging. Wood pellet combustion has a high efficiency level, averaging about 80%, and extremely low particulate emissions. Additionally, wood pellets are a renewable energy source.

Densified biomass fuel is used for heating in wood pellet stoves or furnaces in residential settings and in large-scale boilers in commercial buildings. Industry uses utility-grade wood pellets in processes that require thermal energy, such as generating electricity.

Table descriptions and definitions

Individually identifiable data on production, inventories, and sales are protected from public disclosure.

Table 1: Densified biomass fuel manufacturing facilities in the United States by state, region, and capacity
Lists the respondents to the survey, the state the facility is located in, the operating status, and annual production capacity of the facility.

Table 2: Number of operating densified biomass manufacturing facilities, full-time equivalent employees and annual capacity by region (excludes planned and small facilities)
Summarizes the number of reporting entities and the number of full-time-equivalent employees (FTEs), and the total annual capacity by region.

Table 3: Feedstocks and average cost per ton for the manufacture of densified biomass products received at densified biomass fuel facilities
Displays the feedstock purchases (tons) and average weighted cost (USD per ton) for four categories of raw materials: roundwood timber (generally, logs harvested for industrial use from sustainably managed forests), sawmill residue, wood product manufacturing residue, and other residuals. Other residuals is an aggregated category to protect individual data from disclosure and includes bark, logging residues, wood chips, post-consumer wood, unmerchantable wood (wood products that are too poor in quality or too small to convert to industrial use), and other. Details by region are not provided to protect confidentiality.

Table 4: Production of densified biomass fuel by U.S. region and densified biomass product type.
Displays the tons of wood fuel products manufactured in each region during the reporting month for four categories: wood pellets, PFI certified; wood pellets, not certified; wood pellets, utility; and compressed bricks/logs. Non-certified pellets are those as of the reporting month that did not have the official PFI certification. Included in wood pellets: PFI certified and not certified categories are premium, super-premium, and standard pellets. These pellet types are primarily used for heating residences, schools, and other buildings. Utility-type pellets are generally used for electric power generation and include both those with and without certifications, such as PFI or ENplus (a European certification program). Compressed bricks/logs are a small part of the industry, generally used in residential heating applications.

Table 5: Characteristics of densified biomass
Displays the average heat values (Btu per pound) and moisture and ash contents (percentage by weight) of the manufactured products reported in Table 4. The first report that will include these data will be published in February.

Table 6: Inventories of densified biomass fuel by U.S. region and densified biomass product type
Displays end-of-month inventories (tons) for three broad categories (wood pellets, premium and standard; wood pellets, utility; and compressed bricks/logs) of densified biomass fuel products by region for the reporting month.

Table 7: Domestic sales and average price of densified biomass fuel by U.S. region.
Displays sales (tons) and average price (revenue per ton) of primarily wood pellets in the domestic heating market for the reporting month. Sales and average revenue per ton include both retail and wholesale sales.

Table 8: Export sales and average price of densified biomass fuel.
Displays U.S. export sales and average price (revenue per ton) of primarily utility-grade pellets to global markets. Protection of data precludes display of destination countries and ports.

The Pellet Fuel Institute (PFI)
The Pellet Fuel Institute is a non-profit organization made up of about 100 member companies. PFI establishes and maintains densified biomass fuel standards, among other industry-specific tasks.

PFI certification
Wood pellets that are PFI certified meet certain standards that are set by PFI and regulated by third-party inspections. PFI graded fuel is manufactured to ensure optimal performance of pellet burning stoves.



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